`Compound Found in Olives Protects Against Symptoms of Neuroinflammatory Disorders, Study Shows - Olive Oil Times

Compound Found in Olives Protects Against Symptoms of Neuroinflammatory Disorders, Study Shows

Jan. 11, 2021
Daniel Dawson

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Researchers in Greece and Spain have demon­strated that a pow­er­ful antiox­i­dant and anti-inflam­ma­tory com­pound found in olives may pro­vide pro­tec­tive effects against neu­roin­flam­ma­tory dis­or­ders, such as mul­ti­ple sclerosis.

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We inves­ti­gated the impact of olea­cein on the main clinic-patho­log­i­cal fea­tures of exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis, an ani­mal model for mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, includ­ing paral­y­sis, demyeli­na­tion, cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem inflam­ma­tion and oxida­tive stress and blood-brain bar­rier break­down,” the team of researchers wrote in the study, which was pub­lished in the jour­nal Antioxidants.

Agents that cause exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis were injected into the mice, which were then assessed for symp­toms of the dis­ease and graded on a scale of zero to five. Simultaneously, some of the mice were also injected with two doses of olea­cein, which had been iso­lated from Koroneiki extra vir­gin olive oil.

The selected oil con­tained the high­est amount of olea­cein among the [500] stud­ied sam­ples,“ the researchers wrote.

Oleacein, one of the major sec­oiri­doid phe­no­lic com­pounds present in extra vir­gin olive oil, was cho­sen for the study as a result of pre­vi­ous research that had demon­strated its poten­tial role in the pre­ven­tion and treat­ment of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases.

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Our group and oth­ers have shown pos­i­tive effects of other olive oil deriv­a­tives in an in vivo model of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, but, to our knowl­edge, this is the first time in which olea­cein is stud­ied in the con­text of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis,” they wrote.

Over the course of 24 days, the three sets of mice were mon­i­tored and two inde­pen­dent researchers assessed their neu­ro­log­i­cal signs. By the end of the study, the researchers dis­tilled five main observations.

Chief among these was that mice treated with olea­cein expe­ri­enced a more delayed devel­op­ment of exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis and vis­i­bly suf­fered from less severe symptoms.

While untreated exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis mice showed par­tial hind limb paral­y­sis with an aver­age clin­i­cal score of 2.5 ± 0.3, in the olea­cein-treated exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis group nine of 11 mice showed inabil­ity to curl the dis­tal end of the tail (score 0.5) and only two of 11 mice showed tail atony,” the researchers wrote.

The results also demon­strated that olea­cein pro­tected the mice from dam­age caused by exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis to the cen­tral ner­vous system.

Examination of hema­toxylin and eosin stained sec­tions of optic nerve, spinal cord and cere­bel­lum showed the pres­ence of cell infil­trates in all tis­sues from exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis mice,” the researchers wrote. 

In con­trast, the infil­trat­ing cells in the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem tis­sues from olea­cein-treated exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis mice were notably reduced, being com­pa­ra­ble to those observed in tis­sues of untreated healthy-con­trol mice,” they added.

Along with reduced dam­age to the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, the researchers also found that the mice treated with olea­cein had reduced dis­rup­tions of the blood-brain bar­rier, which is a rel­e­vant patho­log­i­cal hall­mark of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive diseases.

See Also: Olive Oil May Help Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases

The infected mice receiv­ing the olea­cein treat­ment also pro­duced fewer inflam­ma­tory mark­ers asso­ci­ated with exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis in their spinal cord tis­sue, with some mark­ers being greatly reduced while oth­ers were not over-expressed.

The results of the exper­i­ment also demon­strated to the researchers that olea­cein reduced the oxida­tive stress expe­ri­enced in the infected mice.

The exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis group showed sig­nif­i­cantly increased lev­els of both advanced oxi­da­tion pro­tein prod­ucts and mal­on­di­alde­hyde [both of which cause cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem dam­age in mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis] in serum and spinal cord tis­sue in com­par­i­son with the con­trol group,” the researchers wrote. Meanwhile, olea­cein treat­ment effec­tively pre­vented these increases.”

With all of these results in mind researchers said that mice being treated by olea­cein expe­ri­enced a down­ward trend in terms of the num­ber of cells respon­si­ble for inflam­ma­tion and deform­ing of nerve tis­sue in infil­trat­ing the cen­tral ner­vous system.

In sum­mary, there is a cor­re­la­tion between the inflam­ma­tory and oxida­tive sta­tus of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem and exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis-induced patho­log­i­cal changes in the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem,” the researchers wrote. 

Based on this study, we sug­gest that olea­cein may pro­vide pro­tec­tive effects in exper­i­men­tal autoim­mune encephalomyelitis by reduc­ing leuko­cyte infil­tra­tion into the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, pre­vent­ing inflam­ma­tory medi­a­tors and inhibit­ing the ele­va­tion of the oxida­tive stress sta­tus,” they added.

The results of the study demon­strated that com­pounds derived from extra vir­gin olive oil war­rant fur­ther study when it comes to the search for treat­ment of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases, such as mul­ti­ple sclerosis.

Therefore, and with the obvi­ous reser­va­tions, due to species change, our data present a promis­ing bioac­tive mol­e­cule, derived from a nat­ural source, extra vir­gin olive oil, can­di­date for fur­ther research in the treat­ment of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and pos­si­bly other immune – inflam­ma­tory-related dis­eases,” the researchers concluded.


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