BOB HIRSHON (host):
Pitting olive oil against pollution. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
In most cities, levels of soot and other particulate pollution from burning fossil fuels is high enough to contribute to heart disease and hardening of the arteries. Research conducted by the EPA suggests that olive oil might help protect people from these effects. Molecular toxicologist James Samet was on the research team.
James Samet ( EPA):
There are well-documented studies that oleic acid, which is a fat primarily found in olives, is anti-inflammatory and it can decrease platelet aggregation for example, which is blood clotting, etc.
Participants in the study who took a teaspoon of olive oil every day for four weeks maintained proper blood flow after inhaling particulate pollution, while those who didn’t take olive oil showed reduced blood flow. In addition, the olive oil group had protective compounds in their blood, even twenty hours later. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.