In a recent study subjects with metabolic syndrome were given breakfasts with either olive oil that was high in phenolic compounds, or olive oil that was low in phenolic compounds. Olive oil fights inflammation and acts an an antioxidant.
This new research suggests that the olive oils highest in phenolic compounds affect almost 100 genes that are associated with the inflammatory response. Olive oil turns off some genes and turns on others.
"Why is this significant? Well, scientists know that these particular genes—and the inflammation responses they control—greatly influence how the body stores fat, deals with cholesterol, processes insulin and glucose and more. By learning exactly which foods act as inflammation triggers and which foods reduce that response, medical experts hope to help folks reduce their chances of having a heart attack, developing diabetes or dying from a stroke."