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Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Nov;123(11):1173-9. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1408988. Epub 2015 May 1.

Dietary Supplementation with Olive Oil or Fish Oil and Vascular Effects of Concentrated Ambient Particulate Matter Exposure in Human Volunteers.

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Environmental Public Health Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.



Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) induces endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Olive oil (OO) and fish oil (FO) supplements have beneficial effects on endothelial function.


In this study we evaluated the potential efficacy of OO and FO in mitigating endothelial dysfunction and disruption of hemostasis caused by exposure to particulate matter (PM).


Forty-two participants (58 ± 1 years of age) received either 3 g/day of OO or FO, or no supplements (naive) for 4 weeks prior to undergoing 2-hr exposures to filtered air and concentrated ambient particulate matter (CAP; mean, 253 ± 16 μg/m3). Endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery preexposure, immediately postexposure, and 20 hr postexposure. Levels of endothelin-1 and markers of fibrinolysis and inflammation were also measured. The FMD was significantly lower after CAP exposure in the naive (-19.4%; 95% CI: -36.4, -2.3 per 100 μg/m3 CAP relative to baseline; p = 0.03) and FO groups (-13.7%; 95% CI: -24.5, -2.9; p = 0.01), but not in the OO group (-7.6%; 95% CI: -21.5, 6.3; p = 0.27). Tissue plasminogen activator levels were significantly increased immediately after (11.6%; 95% CI: 0.8, 22.2; p = 0.04) and 20 hr after CAP exposure in the OO group. Endothelin-1 levels were significantly increased 20 hr after CAP exposure in the naive group only (17.1%; 95% CI: 2.2, 32.0; p = 0.03).


Short-term exposure to CAP induced vascular endothelial dysfunction. OO supplementation attenuated CAP-induced reduction of FMD and changes in blood markers associated with vasoconstriction and fibrinolysis, suggesting that OO supplementation may be an efficacious intervention to protect against vascular effects of exposure to PM.


Tong H, Rappold AG, Caughey M, Hinderliter AL, Bassett M, Montilla T, Case MW, Berntsen J, Bromberg PA, Cascio WE, Diaz-Sanchez D, Devlin RB, Samet JM. 2015. Dietary supplementation with olive oil or fish oil and vascular effects of concentrated ambient particulate matter exposure in human volunteers. Environ Health Perspect 123:1173-1179;

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