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Olive oil as placebo for other oils fares poorly?

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Why, if the olive oil of the Mediterranean diet is the bee's knees, does it not compare favorably with oils such as fish/n-3 oils when used as a placebo?




Well, first, because you get a beneficial effect from 2-3 g of ALA or 300 mg of EPA+DHA (OK, maybe up to a gram), because they're essential fatty acids and that's what's good for you. You get a beneficial effect from 2 or more tablespoons (28+ g) of EVOO. When you use olive oil as a placebo, you're using the same amount of oil, and thus are way underdosed for any health benefits.


Plus, of course, it depends on the outcome you're measuring. EPA+DHA can reduce medication dependence for rheumatoid arthritis, but the dose is ridiculous for the rest of us and there's no reason to think olive oil would be of benefit at any dose. It's, um, a placebo. Somewhat similarly, very high-dose DHA alone is effective at lowering severely high TG. EVOO tends to lower TG, but nothing as dramatic at that, even at its proper dose, let alone the trivial amount you'd use in a placebo softgel.


And, they use crap olive oil for placebos — refined or pomace – not EVOO; and lots of "olive oil" used in food service and as a pharma formulant is ridiculously old, or isn't even olive oil.

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