`EVOO Fights Heart Disease Changing How Genes Function - Olive Oil Times

EVOO Fights Heart Disease Changing How Genes Function

Jun. 30, 2010
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart dis­ease by chang­ing how our genes func­tion.

New research in the FASEB Journal sug­gests that the polyphe­nols in vir­gin olive oil mod­ify the expres­sion of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis-related genes, lead­ing to health ben­e­fits.

Everyone knows olive oil and a Mediterranean diet are asso­ci­ated with a lower risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, but a new research report pub­lished in the July 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal offers a sur­pris­ing rea­son why: These foods change how genes asso­ci­ated with ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis func­tion.

Knowing which genes can be mod­u­lated by diet in a healthy way can help peo­ple select healthy diets,” said Maria Isabel Covas, D.Pharm., Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group at the Institut Municipal d’Investigacio Medica in Barcelona, Spain. It is also a first step for future nutri­tional ther­a­pies with selected foods.”

Scientists worked with three groups of healthy vol­un­teers. The first group con­sumed a tra­di­tional Mediterranean diet with vir­gin olive oil rich in polyphe­nols. The sec­ond group con­sumed a tra­di­tional Mediterranean diet with an olive oil low in polyphe­nols. The third group fol­lowed their habit­ual diet. After three months, the first group had a down-reg­u­la­tion in the expres­sion of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis-related genes in their periph­eral blood mononu­clear cells. Additionally, the olive oil polyphe­nols made a sig­nif­i­cant impact on the expres­sion of genetic changes influ­enc­ing coro­nary heart dis­ease. Results also showed that the con­sump­tion of vir­gin olive oil in con­junc­tion with a Mediterranean diet can pos­i­tively impact lipid and DNA oxi­da­tion, insulin resis­tance, inflam­ma­tion, car­cino­gen­e­sis, and tumor sup­pres­sion.


This study is ground break­ing because it shows that olive oil and a Mediterranean diet affect our bod­ies in a far more sig­nif­i­cant way than pre­vi­ously believed,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. Not only does this research offer more sup­port for encour­ag­ing peo­ple to change their eat­ing habits, it is an impor­tant first step toward iden­ti­fy­ing drug tar­gets that affect how our genes express them­selves.”


Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
301 – 634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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