` Olive Oil Diet Reduces Aging at Cellular Level - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Diet Reduces Aging at Cellular Level

Jun. 11, 2010
Olive Oil Times Staff

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These results, pub­lished in the jour­nal Mechanisms in Ageing and Development, show that rats fed with this type of fat live longer than oth­ers whose diet is based on sun­flower oil

Researchers at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Granada, together with spe­cial­ists of the Hospital de Jaén, Institute of Biochemistry University in Ancona, Italy, and University Lleida have revealed the anti-aging ben­e­fi­cial effects of vir­gin olive oil, com­pared to other fat sources. These results, pub­lished in the jour­nal Mechanisms in Ageing and Development, show that rats fed with this type of fat live longer than oth­ers whose diet is based on sun­flower oil.

Granada researchers worked to estab­lish the pos­si­ble mol­e­c­u­lar mech­a­nisms by which olive oil alone, and sup­ple­men­ta­tion with coen­zyme Q, an antiox­i­dant com­pound, exerts its influ­ence on the signs of aging, caus­ing changes in the struc­ture and func­tion of cells, reports Andalucía Innova.

Experts stud­ied how fat intake affects the cells, because if there is a neg­a­tive rela­tion­ship between the two fac­tors (type of fat cell func­tion), mod­i­fy­ing the diet can reduce cer­tain processes. In par­tic­u­lar, researchers focused on how olive oil affects the mito­chon­dria, an organelle inside the cell that is respon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing energy. They study exam­ined the effects of fat on three lev­els: oxida­tive stress, the func­tion­al­ity of the organelle, and its struc­ture. The diet based on olive oil in old age causes less dam­age to accu­mu­late at these three lev­els,” says the head of the inves­ti­ga­tion, José Luis Quiles.

Oxidative stress refers to the process by which cells gen­er­ate quan­ti­ties of com­pounds called free rad­i­cals. These are gen­er­ated nat­u­rally by the body but in excess, are harm­ful. These are some agents that are cre­ated in energy pro­duc­tion that occur within cells. In this process of burn­ing fat, free rad­i­cals are released and act as torches in rela­tion to body tis­sues, then burn every­thing they touch. Olive oil reduces oxida­tive stress, i.e. the gen­er­a­tion of free rad­i­cals and there­fore makes the tis­sues grow older more slowly, says Quiles.

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As for the func­tion­al­ity of mito­chon­dria, stud­ies have shown that oxida­tive stress impairs the abil­ity of this organelle to pro­duce energy, and alters its appear­ance. ” As we age, they swell and lose their water­proof­ing that allows elec­tro­chem­i­cal bal­ance between inside and out­side the cell,” said Quiles.

Different diets

To sup­port these find­ings, experts have fed rats diets dif­fer­ing in fat source (olive oil, sun­flower or fish and / or sup­ple­men­ta­tion with coen­zyme Q) through­out his life.

The analy­sis sug­gests that if the ani­mal eats a fat through­out its life, the com­po­si­tion of their cell mem­branes reflects the fat ingested. Thus, vir­gin olive oil gen­er­ated health con­di­tions in mito­chon­dria and oxida­tive stress favor­ing the later appear­ance of the phe­no­type of aging, when com­pared with indi­vid­u­als who have taken other fats such as sun­flower oil. To prove it, researchers have devel­oped the so-called sur­vival curves. In these stud­ies, rodents that eat olive oil only live longer than the rest.

Also, if the diet is sup­ple­mented based on sun­flower oil with Coenzyme Q, we get the same ben­e­fits with olive oil. However, the lat­ter type of sup­ple­ment oil with coen­zyme Q did not improve their ben­e­fi­cial effect, the researchers said. This demon­strates the frag­ile bal­ance that occur at the cel­lu­lar level. The exper­i­ments show that it is nec­es­sary to sup­ple­ment the diet of olive oil with Coenzyme Q if you take a var­ied diet based on vir­gin olive oil (with other types of oils), because not only do you not increase the effect, but could upset the bal­ance of the cell and may be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive,” warns Quiles.

The experts are explor­ing what is now called nutrige­nomics, i.e. the rela­tion­ship between diet and gene expres­sion. The next step is to find strate­gies to link a spe­cific gene to the ori­gin of the death of rats. In this sense, they hope not only to ver­ify that rats fed with vir­gin olive oil are liv­ing longer, but to iden­tify the asso­ci­ated cause of death of the ani­mal (for exam­ple, which organs are affected in the aging process, and which tumors are gen­er­ated) .

Contact: Jose Luis Quiles. Phone: 958 241000 ext. 20 316. Email: jlquiles@ugr.es

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Source: University of Granada

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