`Breakfast with High-Phenol EVOO Reduces Inflammation Linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease

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Breakfast with High-Phenol EVOO Reduces Inflammation Linked to Diabetes, Heart Disease

Jul. 7, 2014
By Louise Taylor

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A new study pub­lished in Food Chem­istry shows that adding phe­nol-rich olive oil to break­fast suc­cess­fully low­ers the inflam­ma­tion linked to meta­bolic syn­drome.

Inflam­ma­tion is asso­ci­ated with meta­bolic syn­drome, an increas­ingly com­mon con­di­tion char­ac­ter­ized by the pres­ence of three of the fol­low­ing patholo­gies in an indi­vid­ual: obe­sity (par­tic­u­larly abdom­i­nal fat), high blood pres­sure, a low level of good” HDL cho­les­terol, high fast­ing blood sugar and a high level of triglyc­erides. Left untreated, meta­bolic syn­drome can trig­ger dia­betes, stroke and heart dis­ease.

Forty-nine patients with meta­bolic syn­drome added 40 ml of high‑, medium- or low-phe­nol vir­gin olive oil to their break­fast. The high-phe­nol olive oil (398 parts per mil­lion) break­fast neu­tral­ized pro-inflam­ma­tory gene expres­sion in patients while reduc­ing pro-inflam­ma­tory cytokines in blood plasma. The result was an over­all lower level of post-meal inflam­ma­tion.

Phe­nols — phy­to­chem­i­cals found in plant-based foods such as olives, cof­fee, tea, and choco­late — have been enjoy­ing the nutri­tional lime­light as an increas­ing num­ber of health-related ben­e­fits are revealed. While the lion’s share of stud­ies to date focus on their anti-oxi­dant ben­e­fits, grow­ing evi­dence shows that phe­nols also reduce inflam­ma­tion.

Chronic low-grade inflam­ma­tion pre­cedes and pre­dicts the onset of dia­betes in adults with meta­bolic syn­drome and researchers believe it plays a sim­i­lar role in car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. It is esti­mated that over 30 per­cent of all adults in the USA have meta­bolic syn­drome, a phe­nom­e­non seen in another west­ern coun­tries and quickly spread­ing to devel­op­ing coun­tries includ­ing India, China and Brazil.

This study adds valu­able infor­ma­tion on under­stand­ing how phe­nols reduce inflam­ma­tion by mod­u­lat­ing cell sig­nal­ing path­ways and sug­gests that a break­fast that includes phe­nol-rich olive oil helps alle­vi­ate inflam­ma­tion asso­ci­ated with meta­bolic syn­drome and related dis­eases.

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