Consumption of extra virgin olive oil improves body composition and blood pressure in women with excess body fat: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial



Despite the fact that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is widely used in obese individuals to treat cardiovascular diseases, the role of EVOO on weight/fat reduction remains unclear. We investigated the effects of energy-restricted diet containing EVOO on body composition and metabolic disruptions related to obesity.


This is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial in which 41 adult women with excess body fat (mean ± SD 27.0 ± 0.9 year old, 46.8 ± 0.6% of total body fat) received daily high-fat breakfasts containing 25 mL of soybean oil (control group, n = 20) or EVOO (EVOO group, n = 21) during nine consecutive weeks. Breakfasts were part of an energy-restricted normal-fat diets (−2090 kJ, ~32%E from fat). Anthropometric and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were assessed, and fasting blood was collected on the first and last day of the experiment.


Fat loss was ~80% higher on EVOO compared to the control group (mean ± SE: −2.4 ± 0.3 kg vs. −1.3 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.037). EVOO also reduced diastolic blood pressure when compared to control (–5.1 ± 1.6 mmHg vs. +0.3 ± 1.2 mmHg, P = 0.011). Within-group differences (P < 0.050) were observed for HDL-c (−2.9 ± 1.2 mmol/L) and IL-10 (+0.9 ± 0.1 pg/mL) in control group, and for serum creatinine (+0.04 ± 0.01 µmol/L) and alkaline phosphatase (−3.3 ± 1.8 IU/L) in the EVOO group. There was also a trend for IL-1β EVOO reduction (−0.3 ± 0.1 pg/mL, P = 0.060).


EVOO consumption reduced body fat and improved blood pressure. Our results indicate that EVOO should be included into energy-restricted programs for obesity treatment.

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We thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais—FAPEMIG (protocol number: APQ-01877-1). The Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq for providing research grants to the authors. We thank Bioclin® for providing biochemical assays kits. These companies had no role in design, analysis, or writing of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Flávia Galvão Cândido.

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Galvão Cândido, F., Xavier Valente, F., da Silva, L.E. et al. Consumption of extra virgin olive oil improves body composition and blood pressure in women with excess body fat: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur J Nutr 57, 2445–2455 (2018).

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  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Body fat
  • Blood pressure
  • Adiposity
  • Monounsaturated fatty acid