Olive oil supplements may protect against the adverse vascular effects of air pollution

Taking olive oil supplements may counteract some of the adverse cardiovascular effects of exposure to air pollution, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

"Exposure to airborne particulate matter can lead to , a condition in which the endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels does not function normally, which is a risk factor for clinical cardiovascular events and progression of atherosclerosis," said lead study author Dr. Haiyan Tong, MD, PhD, a research biologist with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. "As and fish oil are known to have beneficial effects on endothelial dysfunction, we examined whether use of these supplements would counteract the adverse cardiovascular effects of to concentrated ambient particulate matter in a controlled setting."

The study involved 42 healthy adults who were randomized to receive either 3 gram/day of olive oil, fish oil, or no supplements for 4 weeks before undergoing controlled 2-hour exposures to filtered air, followed on the next day by exposure to fine/ultrafine concentrated ambient particulate matter (CAP, mean mass concentration 253±16 µg/m3) in a controlled-exposure chamber.

Endothelial function was assessed by sonographic measurement of flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery before, immediately after, and 20 hours after exposure to air and CAP. Blood markers of vasoconstriction and fibrinolysis (a body process that keeps blood clots from growing) were also measured.

Immediately after exposure to CAP, significant particulate matter mass-dependent reductions in flow-mediated dilation were observed in the control (-19.4±8.4% per 100 µg/m3 increase in CAP concentration relative to pre-filtered air levels) and fish oil groups (-13.7±5.3%), while the decrease in the olive oil group was not significant (-7.6±6.8%).

Tissue plasminogen activator, a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots, increased (11.6±5%) immediately after CAP exposure in the olive oil group, and this effect persisted up to 20 hours. Olive oil supplementation also ameliorated changes in blood markers associated with vasoconstriction and fibrinolysis, while supplementation had no effect on or fibrinolysis after CAP exposure.

"Our study suggests that use of olive oil supplements may protect against the adverse vascular effects of exposure to particles," said Dr. Tong. "If these results are replicated in further studies, use of these supplements might offer a safe, low cost, and effective means of counteracting some of the health consequences of exposure to air pollution."

More information: Abstract 55100, Olive Oil Supplements Ameliorate Endothelial Dysfunction Caused By Concentrated Ambient Particulate Matter Exposure In Healthy Human Volunteers , Scientific Abstract , )6.01 - Air Pollution: Epidemiology and Mechanisms (EOH) , H. Tong1, A.G. Rappold1, M. Caughey2, A.L. Hinderliter2, M. Case1, J. Berntsen3, W.E. Cascio1, D. Diaz-Sanchez1, R.B. Devlin1, J.M. Samet1; 1US Environmental , Protection Agency - Durham, NC/US, 2University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC/US, 3TRC Environmental Corporation - Raleigh, NC/US

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fish oil lowers stress response

Jun 11, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Fish oil supplements may protect the heart in stressful situations, according to a recent research study.

Olive oil is good for you—in more ways than one

Aug 28, 2013

Olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and is considered by many to be a natural health-food product. Until recently, the known protective effects of olive oil against oxidative stress-associated ...

Fish oil supplements may help fight against Type 2 diabetes

May 22, 2013

Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of ...

Recommended for you

Electronic health records tied to shorter time in ER

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Length of emergency room stay for trauma patients is shorter with the use of electronic health records, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate ...

User comments