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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Sep 10;51(19):5774-9.

Effect of different olive oils on bile excretion in rats fed cholesterol-containing and cholesterol-free diets.

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Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw Agricultural University, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland.


The mechanism of the hypocholesterolemic effect of olive oils was investigated in 60 Wistar rats adapted to cholesterol-containing and cholesterol-free diets. The rats were divided in six diet groups of 10. The control group was fed only basal diet (BD), which contained wheat starch, casein, cellulose, and mineral and vitamin mixtures. For the five other groups, 10 g/100 g virgin (virgin group) or lampante (lampante group) olive oils, 1 g/100 g cholesterol (chol group), or both cholesterol and oil (chol/virgin and chol/lampante groups) were added to the BD. The experiment lasted 4 weeks. Before and after the experiment the bile was collected, and its flow and biliary bile acids and cholesterol concentrations were registered. Plasma lipids, liver cholesterol, plasma antioxidative potential (TRAP), fecal output, fecal bile acids, and fecal cholesterol excretion were measured. Groups did not differ before the experiment. After the experiment significant hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant effects were registered mainly in groups of rats fed cholesterol-containing diets supplemented with both olive oils (chol/virgin and chol/lampante). Significant increases in the bile flow and in the bile cholesterol and bile acids concentrations were observed (19.2% and 16.9%, 30.5% and 18.2%, and 79.6% and 45.6% for the chol/virgin and chol/lampante groups, respectively). Also, significant increases of the fecal output and fecal excretion of bile acids and cholesterol in rats of these groups were found. In conclusion, olive oils positively affect plasma lipid metabolism. The hypocholesterolemic effect of olive oils is genuine and is most likely mediated through increases in bile flow and biliary cholesterol and bile acids concentrations and subsequent increases in their fecal excretion.

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