Scientists discover olive oil directly impacts genes to halt inflammation

We’ve been aware for a while now of the health protective properties of olive oil, for example its phytonutrient components are effective against breast cancer cells.

Now its phenolic compounds have been found to directly repress genes linked to inflammation which could benefit sufferers of metabolic syndrome. Symptoms of metabolic syndrome include abdominal fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels, and it is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and early death.

The double-blind, randomised study, published in the journal BMC Genomics, involved 20 subjects with metabolic syndrome who were fed olive oil with their breakfast with either a high or low content of phenolic compound.

When their blood samples were tested it was found that the high phenol olive oil impacted the regulation of almost 100 genes, many of which have been linked to obesity, high blood fat levels, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

"We identified 98 differentially expressed genes when comparing the intake of phenol-rich olive oil with low-phenol olive oil. Several of the repressed genes are known to be involved in pro-inflammatory processes, suggesting that the diet can switch the activity of immune system cells to a less deleterious inflammatory profile, as seen in metabolic syndrome," Dr. Perez-Jimenez, conducting the study, said in a statement to the press. "These findings strengthen the relationship between inflammation, obesity and diet and provide evidence at the most basic level of healthy effects derived from virgin olive oil consumption in humans."

Where olive oil is a main source of dietary fat, for instance in Mediterranean countries, there are lower levels of heart disease.

Courtesy of Natural News:


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First Published in July 2010

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