Olive Oil and Healthy Sleep may Inhibit Development of Deadly Blood Clots that Lead to Heart Attacks and Strokes

February is American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease which is the number one leading cause of death in the United States.

Olive Oil helps Protect Against Formation of Deadly Blood Clots

Canadian researchers from Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) at St, Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have discovered that unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) help protect against the formation of deadly blood clots that can cause strokes or heart attacks. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Olive Oil Stimulates Higher Production of a Plasma Protein ApoA-IV

The Canadian study published September 6, 2018, in Nature Communications has shown that unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil stimulate the production of higher levels of a plasma protein called Apolipoprotein A-IV (apoA-IV). ApoA-IV helps to prevent platelets in the blood from clumping together to form blood clots. While this clumping, called platelet aggregation, is an important and necessary function to stop bleeding and save lives, blood clots that block blood vessels and cause thrombosis can lead to heart attacks and strokes. ApoA-IV is synthesized in the small intestine and increases rapidly due to the absorption of fats, especially unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil.

Previous Known Effects of apoA-IV

Until this study the positive effects apoA-IV has on preventing blood clots were unknown. Only the following were known about apoA-IV:

  • Anti-oxidation
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Control of the intake of food
  • Regulating the metabolism of lipoprotein
  • Reversing transport of cholesterol

New Knowledge of the Effects of apoA-IV for Preventing Blood Clots

Reduces the clumping together (aggregation) of platelets

Lessens the chance for the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel (thrombosis)

ApoA-IV is More Active During Sleep at Night

The researchers found that apoA-IV is more active at night during sleep. This is yet another reason why healthy sleep is so important. In fact, there have been several other studies showing the benefits of a good night’s sleep against cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Other Studies Showing Importance of Sleep to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

A study published January 22, 2019, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that seven to eight hours of good uninterrupted sleep could prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque inside the arteries and this eventually can lead to a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke.

Preventing Atherosclerosis

Another study to be published by researchers from Harvard Medical School in Nature also shows that good quality sleep can prevent atherosclerosis. The animal study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Sleep may also be an Anti-oxidant

In our blog post of August 2, 2018, we wrote that sleep may also have an anti-oxidant effect on the body to prevent chronic diseases including heart disease.

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The studies show that consuming extra virgin olive oil and also getting seven or eight hours of good quality sleep reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.





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