Olives are known to be a key component of the incredibly healthy Greek diet, as they are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants and now a new study focusing specifically on Kalamata olives has shown that the famous olives from the Peloponnese are by far the healthiest in the world.
Kalamata table olives were examined by a team of Greek researchers and scientists from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in collaboration with the 401 General Military Hospital of Athens.
In this clinical study, twenty healthy people, aged between 22 and 65 years of age, voluntarily participated in a diet which consisted of Kalamata olives for sixty days and researchers found that throughout the study, none of the participants received any medication. The group of researchers, which included Dr. Martha Spyridoula Katsarou and Eleni Melliou announced the results of the latest clinical study which focused on the benefits of Kalamata’s famous olive fruit and said Kalamata olives are a great prevention for cardiovascular disease.
The report found that the healthy volunteers showed a significant increase in HDL (good cholesterol) and the ratio of total to LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) showed a significant reduction in the ratio of total HDL cholesterol and LDL / HDL as 95% of statistical correspondence was observed.
The medical team says the optimistic results have encouraged them to conduct a second study, with 100 people taking part and this time the volunteers all have hypercholesterolemia and some take medication. The aim of this research will be to find what benefits Kalamata olives have on lipid profiles, which are a panel of blood tests that serve as an initial screening tool for abnormalities in lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
"We are continuing the study and have seen excellent results so far, as there has been significant statistical reduction in cholesterol and improved blood lipid markers in these volunteers," said Dr Melliou. The results of the second phase are expected to be announced soon.
According to researchers, daily consumption of Kalamata olives can positively influence the lipid profile and can help reduce the symptoms of cardiovascular disease.
“The results are of major importance, as heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. There is a great need in the scientific community to find ways which we can protect and help in such cases," notes Martha-Spyridoula Katsarou.