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Free Radic Res. 2001 Mar;34(3):301-5.

Hydroxytyrosol, as a component of olive mill waste water, is dose- dependently absorbed and increases the antioxidant capacity of rat plasma.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan.


Hydroxytyrosol is the most potent phenolic antioxidant of olive oil and olive mill waste water (OMWW) and its biological activities have stimulated research on its potential role in cardiovascular protection. However, evidence of the absorption of OMWW phenolics and on their possible in vivo activity has, until now, never been provided. Three groups male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 1, 5, or 10 mg/Kg of the OMWW extract, respectively, providing 41.4, 207, and 414 microg/Kg of hydroxytyrosol, respectively. Urine was collected for 24 h and the urinary levels of hydroxytyrosol were quantified by mass spectrometry. Hydroxytyrosol was dose-dependently (R(2) = 0.95) absorbed and excreted in the urines mostly as a glucuronide conjugate. Further, the administration of an hydroxytyrosol-rich OMWW extract (10 mg/kg) to the rats was also associated with an increase of their plasma antioxidant capacity. Future experiments will eventually further clarify its metabolic fate and its in vivo actions.

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