Olive oil intake may lower CVD risk among people with obesity

03 Dec 2021
Olive oil intake may lower CVD risk among people with obesity

For individuals with obesity, olive oil intake can help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) by suppressing thrombin-induced platelet activation, a study reports.

Platelet activation has been shown to be involved in the modulation of inflammation and atherothrombosis in obesity, subsequently increasing the prevalence of CVD. In the current study, researchers assessed platelet activation by measuring the surface marker P-selectin with and without thrombin exposure in 63 patients (mean age 32.2 years) with severe obesity (mean body mass index [BMI] 44.1 kg/m2).

Fasting blood samples were collected into tubes containing 3.2% sodium citrate as anticoagulant. Whole blood samples were exposed to thrombin at a submaximal concentration of 0.025 U/mL for 5 minutes or left untreated. The researchers identified platelets by staining and looked at platelet surface expression of P-selectin on a C6 Plus flow cytometer. All participants completed a modified version of the National Cancer Institute Diet History Questionnaire II.

Of the participants, 21 consumed olive oil ≤1 time/week, 18 did 1–3 times/week, and 24 did ≥4 times/week. Age, BMI, and platelet count were generally similar across the three olive oil intake frequency groups.

Unstimulated P-selectin expression did not differ by olive oil consumption, suggesting that olive oil intake exerts no influence on basal P-selectin expression in circulating platelets, according to the researchers.

Meanwhile, participants with more frequent olive oil intake showed lower P-selectin expression on submaximal thrombin exposure. The researchers postulated that this activity might have been mediated by polyphenols, although they underscored a need for ex vivo studies to further elucidate the underlying mechanisms.

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