During the course of obesity, adipose tissue is characterized by adipocyte hypertrophy, oxidative stress, and subsequent increased angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels in a pathological manner), immune cell infiltration, and tissue remodeling.

A dysregulated pattern of adipocyte gene expression is involved in the initiation and progression of adipose tissue inflammation associated with obesity and its metabolic and vascular complications. Adipocyte hypertrophy is accompanied by the upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Similarly, the overexpression of TNF-α in adipose tissue during obesity is causally linked to its inflammation.

This new research showed that oleocanthal and oleacein attenuated the expression of genes involved in adipose tissue inflammation and related adipocyte dysfunction. The authors concluded that oleocanthal and oleacein presented anti-inflammatory effects in human adipocytes challenged with TNF-α, a prototypic inflammatory stimulus. Oleocanthal and oleacein are two secoiridoid polyphenols typically present in extra virgin olive oil, a basic component of the Mediterranean diet.

Source: Carpi S, Scoditti E, Massaro M, Polini B, Manera C, Digiacomo M, Esposito Salsano J, Poli G, Tuccinardi T, Doccini S, Santorelli FM, Carluccio MA, Macchia M, Wabitsch M, De Caterina R, Nieri P. The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols Oleocanthal and Oleacein Counteract Inflammation-Related Gene and miRNA Expression in Adipocytes by Attenuating NF-κB Activation. Nutrients. 2019;11(12).