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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Feb;84(2):239-45.

Effects of olive oil and its minor constituents on serum lipids, oxidative stress, and energy metabolism in cardiac muscle.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute of Biological Sciences, University Estadual Paulista, UNESP, 18618-000 Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.


Recent lines of evidence suggest that the beneficial effects of olive oil are not only related to its high content of oleic acid, but also to the antioxidant potential of its polyphenols. The aim of this work was determine the effects of olive oil and its components, oleic acid and the polyphenol dihydroxyphenylethanol (DPE), on serum lipids, oxidative stress, and energy metabolism on cardiac tissue. Twenty four male Wistar rats, 200 g, were divided into the following 4 groups (n = 6): control (C), OO group that received extra-virgin olive oil (7.5 mL/kg), OA group was treated with oleic acid (3.45 mL/kg), and the DPE group that received the polyphenol DPE (7.5 mg/kg). These components were administered by gavage over 30 days, twice a week. All animals were provided with food and water ad libitum. The results show that olive oil was more effective than its isolated components in improving lipid profile, elevating high-density lipoprotein, and diminishing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. Olive oil induced decreased antioxidant Mn-superoxide dismutase activity and diminished protein carbonyl concentration, indicating that olive oil may exert direct antioxidant effect on myocardium. DPE, considered as potential antioxidant, induced elevated aerobic metabolism, triacylglycerols, and lipid hydroperoxides concentrations in cardiac muscle, indicating that long-term intake of this polyphenol may induce its undesirable pro-oxidant activity on myocardium.

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