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Nutritional and health effects of extra-virgin olive oil and its phenolic components, which appear to have numerous therapeutic effects in vitro and in animal models of Alzheimer disease (AD) and may be utilized for potential prevention of late-onset AD
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is often considered one of the core characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, and recent evidence supports its cardio-protective effect. However, less is known about the effects of different types of olive oil on cardiovascular risk factors. A new study ranked the different types of olive oil for effects on blood lipids (TC, LDL-cholesterol, oxLDL-C, HDL-C, and triacylglycerols) and blood pressure.
There were no differences for total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and diastolic blood pressure. Nevertheless, high phenolic (extra) virgin olive oil (HP(E)VOO) slightly reduced LDL-cholesterol compared to low phenolic (extra) virgin olive oil (LP(E)VOO). Both, HP(E)VOO and LP(E)VOO reduced systolic blood pressure compared to refined olive oil (ROO), and HP(E)VOO might also improve oxidized LDL-cholesterol compared to ROO. In addition, a dose-response relationship between higher intakes of phenolic compounds from olive oil and lower systolic blood pressure and oxidized LDL-cholesterol values was found. Consequently, HP(E)VOO was ranked as best treatment for LDL-cholesterol, oxidized LDL-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure.
Given the well-known role of extra-virgin olive oil and its components in the prevention of vascular disease and, considering the critical role of vascular factors in the pathogenesis of late-onset Alzheimer disease, other authors have suggested that EVOO might also be a promising tool for mitigating the effects of adverse vascular factors and preventing of late-onset Alzheimer disease.
Another study recently examined the effects of a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) supplemented with EVOO or nuts on the association between glutamine, glutamate, glutamine-to-glutamate ratio, and risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a Spanish population at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Higher glutamate levels at baseline were associated with increased risk of developing T2D. In contrast, baseline levels of glutamine and glutamine-to-glutamate ratio were inversely associated with T2D risk. The two Mediterranean diets (MedDiet + EVOO and MedDiet + mixed nuts) did not alter levels of glutamine and glutamate. However, authors found that MedDiet supplemented with EVOO or nuts might mitigate the deleterious association between glutamate and development of T2D.