In healthy but obese adults, consuming olive oil at least once a week could reduce platelet activity in the blood, that means the tendency of the blood to coagulate and block blood flow. This is a preliminary study presented at the 2019 scientific sessions on the cardiometabolic lifestyle and health of the American Association of Epidemiology and Heart Prevention.
Platelets are fragments of blood cells that collect and form clots. They contribute to the buildup of plaque that can clog the arteries, called atherosclerosis, the disease that causes most heart attacks and strokes.
Olive oil reduces blood clotting in obese people
Using surveys, the investigators determined how often obese, non-smoking, and non-diabetic participants took olive oil. The mean age of participants was 32.2 years and their mean body mass index (BMI) was 44.1. Obesity occurs when this body mass index is greater than 30. Scientists found that those who took olive oil at least once a week had lower platelet activation than those who ate less.
Obese people have a higher than average risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, even if they do not have diabetes or other diseases associated with obesity. This study suggests that consuming olive oil can potentially help change this risk.
This is the first study evaluating the effects of olive oil on platelet function in obese patients. However, the study is based on questionnaires completed by the participants, measuring the frequency of olive oil intake, but not the quantity. As a result, the study could not prove with certainty that the consumption of olive oil reduces platelet activation in obese adults.