A study conducted by seven research centers and Spanish universities determined that virgin olive oil enriched with its own antioxidants prevents the accumulation of cholesterol, as spread by elnacional.
MiamiDiario Editorial Staff
According to the research, which was published by the journal Biomedicines, virgin olive oil promotes the capacity of high-density lipoproteins to extract it from cells and eliminate it from the body, which is why it was considered “a heart-healthy functional food.”
The researchers showed that virgin olive oil enriched with its own phenolic compounds increases the ability of HDL particles (high-density lipoproteins) to transport cholesterol deposited on the artery wall for subsequent elimination from the body, through the liver and intestine.
It was learned that the work was coordinated by CIBER researchers from the areas of Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM) and Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN), the Research Institute and Hospital Sant Pau, the Hospital del Mar Institute for Medical Research (IMIM), the Rovira i Virgili University, the University of Lleida and the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences-ICVV.
The research, done with an experimental mouse model, allowed to evaluate that both virgin olive oil enriched with its own phenolic compounds and the phenolic compounds themselves, are able not only to improve the capacity of HDL to extract cholesterol from macrophage cells, but also to eliminate it from the organism.
“The results of our study indicate that non-enriched olive oil, used as a control and as a preparation base for enriched oil, was also able to promote this cardioprotective function of HDL,” explained Joan Carles Escolà, a researcher in the Cardiovascular Risk Metabolic Basis Research Group at the Sant Pau Hospital Research Institute (IIB Sant Pau), in a statement.
Phenolic compounds are natural substances found in plants, fruits, vegetables, coffee or chocolate, among other foods, and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “The functional oil used in this research was enriched with phenolic compounds typical of virgin olive oil, so that its content of these compounds is higher than that which is usually present in virgin olive oils, thanks to a novel technological process,” summarized Montserrat Fitó, researcher at IMIM CIBEROBN.
To carry out this study, the researchers extracted the phenolic compounds, basically the hydroxytyrosol derivatives of the olive paste of the arbequina variety and incorporated them into the oil in a certain concentration. According to Phyto, “in this way the enrichment allows the consumption of a greater quantity of antioxidant phenolic compounds of the oil without increasing the consumption of fat.”
With information from elnacional
Translated by: Aleuzenev Nogales