Background and aim
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the most frequent causes of death in the world. Inflammation and oxidative damage contribute significantly to the development of atherosclerosis and CVDs. European Food Safety Authority scientific opinion has acknowledged that hydroxytyrosol (3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol) and derivatives, contained in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), typically used in Mediterranean diet may play a crucial role in the reduction of the inflammatory pathway and in the prevention of CVDs. The aim of the study was to determine the effect in healthy volunteers of 25 g of phenols-rich EVOO (p-EVOO).
The clinical study was a randomized, controlled trial to determine the acute effect in the postprandial time of 25 g of p-EVOO. We evaluated nutritional status using anthropometric parameters, body composition, serum metabolites, oxidative stress biomarkers and gene expression of eight genes related to oxidative stress and human inflammasome pathways, lasting 2 h after p-EVOO administration. Twenty-two participants resulted as eligible for the study.
A significant reduction of oxidized LDL, malondialdehyde, triglycerides and visceral adiposity index was highlighted (P < 0.05). Significant upregulation of catalase, superoxide dismutase 1 and upstream transcription factor 1 were observed (P < 0.05).
The current study shows that intake of 25 g of p-EVOO has been able to be modulated, in the postprandial time, the antioxidant profile and the expression of inflammation and oxidative stress-related genes, as superoxide dismutase 1, upstream transcription factor 1 and catalase. We also observed a significant reduction of oxidized LDL, malondialdehyde, triglycerides and visceral adiposity index. We have demonstrated that a daily intake of phenols and antioxidants can reduce the inflammatory pathway and oxidative stress and therefore the risk of atherosclerosis and CVDs. More studies on a larger population are necessary before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01890070.