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Study: Olive oil supplements may counteract exposure to air pollution

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO ─ Taking olive oil supplements may counteract some of the adverse cardiovascular effects of exposure to air pollution, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference on Monday.

"Exposure to airborne particulate matter can lead to endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels does not function normally, which is a risk factor for clinical cardiovascular events and progression of atherosclerosis," stated lead study author Haiyan Tong, a research biologist with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. "As olive oil and fish oil are known to have beneficial effects on endothelial dysfunction, we examined whether use of these supplements would counteract the adverse cardiovascular effects of exposure to concentrated ambient particulate matter in a controlled setting." 

The study involved 42 healthy adults who were randomized to receive either 3 g/day of olive oil, fish oil or no supplements for four weeks before undergoing controlled two-hour exposures to filtered air, followed on the next day by exposure to fine/ultrafine concentrated ambient particulate matter in a controlled-exposure chamber.

Immediately after exposure to CAP, significant particulate matter mass-dependent reductions in flow-mediated dilation were observed in the control and fish oil groups, while the decrease in the olive oil group was not significant.

Tissue plasminogen activator, a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots, increased approximately 11.6% immediately after CAP exposure in the olive oil group, and this effect persisted up to 20 hours. Olive oil supplementation also ameliorated changes in blood markers associated with vasoconstriction and fibrinolysis, while fish oil supplementation had no effect on endothelial function or fibrinolysis after CAP exposure.

"Our study suggests that use of olive oil supplements may protect against the adverse vascular effects of exposure to air pollution particles," Tong said. "If these results are replicated in further studies, use of these supplements might offer a safe, low-cost and effective means of counteracting some of the health consequences of exposure to air pollution."

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Kroger to provide $2.3 million to support the USO

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Friday announced that, together with customers, employees and vendors, the grocer will provide $2.3 million to support the USO. Since 2010, Kroger has provided more than $8.5 million to support the USO — the largest cumulative gift to the USO in that organization’s history. 

"The USO supports our military and their families in so many ways — from being right there for the wounded, injured and ill, to helping those who are on deployment record a bedtime story for their children," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs. "The USO connects with our service men and women every step of the way, and Kroger is proud to honor our troops and veterans by supporting them."

Over the ensuing two weeks, store-wide promotions will feature hundreds of popular products at special sale prices. Customers can support brands that make Kroger’s donation possible by purchasing participating items identified by customized shelf tags, including Kroger’s own products and items from such key partners as Coca Cola, Frito Lay, Kraft, Mondelez and Post assorted cereals.  

All of the funds raised will support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to service members, their families, wounded troops and veterans. 

Kroger also is recognizing company employees and their families who are active and former military members. Kroger has hired more than 22,456 veterans since 2009, and helped the "100,000 Jobs Mission" surpass its original goal to hire 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020 in January 2014, seven years early.

Customers can read stories about active-duty or veteran Kroger employees by visiting HonoringOurHeroes.com.

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Nutella celebrates milestone with limited-edition Cronuts

BY Ryan Chavis

SOMERSET, N.J. — Nutella, a brand from Ferrero U.S.A., on Monday celebrated its 50th anniversary by teaming up with Dominique Ansel, chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City and the originator of the Cronut — a donut-croissant pastry for the uninitiated — to create limited-edition Cronut holes made with Nutella. The special treats will be available today only in New York City, with Ansel distributing them throughout the event, which took place at the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza.

"I’m thrilled to be partnering with Nutella to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. I have fond memories of enjoying Nutella at breakfast as a little boy in France and have always been an enthusiast. Having the opportunity to incorporate Nutella into bite-size versions of the Cronut has been a real joy, and I look forward to seeing fans enjoy this special treat," Ansel said.

The celebration also marks the debut of a new Nutella food truck that will "Spread the Happy" throughout 16 U.S. cities by offering complimentary samples of Nutella, games and more.

"The passion our fans have for the Nutella brand is incredible. They have a deep personal connection to the hazelnut spread and are constantly engaging with us via social media. We’re so excited to celebrate alongside them at this anniversary event and kickoff our national tour, which will spread the happiness one finds in a jar of Nutella throughout the country," said Eric Berger, senior brand manager for Nutella at Ferrero U.S.A. "We look forward to continuing to promote their love and passion for Nutella and celebrating 50 more years!"

 

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