Credit: © creaktivahost / Fotolia

Credit: © creaktivahost / Fotolia

Olive oil may reduce the damage from a high fat diet

Olive oil may reduce the damage from a high fat diet, according to the latest research from the University of Chile in South America.

Olive oil has been recognized for many years as a healthy oil, full of important health benefits, healthy fats, and for good reason. It is often referred as: “Liquid Gold“.

It is a favorite among chefs, nutritionists and is also a staple in the heart healthy Mediterranean diet.

Previous research has shown the ability of olive oil to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms behind these benefits are not well known.

The University of Chile research team investigated the effects of a compound in extra virgin olive oil on mice.

The compound, called hydroxytyrosol, is well known as an antioxidant.

The new research shows that this compound may have potent liver protecting effects.

The research team examined the effects of hydroxytyrosol on mice with a high fat diet.

They specifically looked at enzymes that create polyunsaturated fats. These fats help lower bad cholesterol, improves heart health, brain health, and more.

The mice who were fed a high fat diet and given hydroxytyrosol showed lower LDL cholesterol levels, while HDL cholesterol (the good kind) remained in tact.

Most importantly, hydroxytyrosol helped increase enzymes and fatty acids to a closer level of that in healthy mice.

The lead author, Dr. Rodrigo Valenzuela explained the results:

“Our results indicate that hydroxytyrosol may be a key part of the health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil.

Mice fed on a high-fat diet had signs of nonalcoholic liver disease which we believe has led to the noticeable reduction in enzyme activity in the liver and the negative effects on fatty acid composition in this, and other, organs. We also found that the liver showed signs of increased oxidative stress, which we know has links to fatty liver disease. It is intriguing that adding a relatively low dose of hydroxytyrosol to the diet was able to reverse these effects, reduce the signs of fatty liver disease, and reduce negative effects seen in the other organs.”

The study showing that olive oil may reduce the damage from a high fat diet was published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.

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1. “Olive Oil Compound Found to Reverse the Damage of High-fat Diet.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 11 Apr. 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
2. “Olive Oil Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality in the PREDIMED Study.” BMC Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 13 May 2014. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.
3. “Hydroxytyrosol Prevents Reduction in Liver Activity of Δ-5 and Δ-6 Desaturases, Oxidative Stress, and Depletion in Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content in Different Tissues of High-fat Diet Fed Mice.” Lipids in Health and Disease. BioMed Central, 11 Apr. 2017. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

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