We’ve all heard about the “Mediterranean diet,” and how it leads to fewer people having heart problems and strokes in southern Europe, but until recently nobody had figured out how that worked. Was it red wine? Lots of fish? Well, a new study from the Yale School of Medicine points to oleuropein, a polyphenol in olive oil that appears to have both short- and long-term effects on the smooth muscle cells of cows, decreasing the damage of bad cholesterol by as much as 92 percent. In fact, among 7,500 French subjects followed in an earlier study, the people who drowned everything they ate in olive oil had a 73 percent decreased risk of stroke compared to those who consumed the least olive oil. They still need to do human trials using high-dose oleuropein, but until they put it in a pill you might as well go nuts with the EVOO. We just put some on our cereal.
Olive Oil’s Secret Weapon [Wine Spectator]