Source of major health benefits in olive oil revealed

April 2, 2009,

Scientists have pinned down the constituent of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke. In a study of the major antioxidants in olive oil, Portuguese researchers showed that one, DHPEA-EDA, protects red blood cells from damage more than any other part of olive oil.

"These findings provide the scientific basis for the clear health benefits that have been seen in people who have in their diet," says lead researcher Fatima Paiva-Martins, who works at the University of Porto.

Heart disease is caused partly by reactive oxygen, including , acting on LDL or "bad" and resulting in hardening of the arteries. are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage because they are the body's oxygen carriers.

In the study, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Paiva-Martins and colleagues compared the effects of four related polyphenolic compounds on red blood cells subjected to oxidative stress by a known free radical generating chemical.

DHPEA-EDA was the most effective and protected red blood cells even at low concentrations. The researchers say the study provides the first evidence that this compound is the major source of the health benefit associated with virgin olive oils, which contain increased levels of DHPEA-EDA compared to other oils. In virgin olive oils, DHPEA-EDA may make up as much as half the total antioxidant component of the oil.

Paiva-Martins says the findings could lead to the production of "functional" olive oils specifically designed to reduce the risk of heart disease. "Now we have identified the importance of these compounds, producers can start to care more about the polyphenolic composition of their oils," she says.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How do muscles know what time it is?

August 21, 2018
How do muscle cells prepare for the particular metabolic challenges of the day? Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), members of the German Center for Diabetes Research ...

Bioprinting bone substitute materials with cell-laden bioinks

August 21, 2018
Bone tissue engineering (BTE) is a developing field in materials science and bioengineering, in which researchers aim to engineer an ideal, bioinspired material to promote assisted bone repair. Since experimental strategies ...

High-speed atomic force microscopy reveals clock protein interactions

August 21, 2018
For the first time, researchers have seen how proteins involved in the daily biological clock interact with each other, helping them to further understand a process tied to numerous metabolic and eating disorders, problems ...

Could vitamin B3 treat acute kidney injury?

August 20, 2018
Acute kidney injury, an often fatal condition without a specific treatment, affects up to 10 percent of all hospitalized adults in the United States and 30-40 percent in low-income countries. The condition causes a build-up ...

New assay to detect genetic abnormalities in sarcomas outperforms conventional techniques

August 20, 2018
Sarcomas are rare tumors that are often misdiagnosed. Specific recurrent chromosomal rearrangements, known as translocations, can serve as essential diagnostic markers and are found in about 20 percent of sarcomas. Identification ...

Team develops new way to grow blood vessels

August 17, 2018
Formation of new blood vessels, a process also known as angiogenesis, is one of the major clinical challenges in wound healing and tissue implants. To address this issue, researchers from Texas A&M University have developed ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.