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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):8774-86. doi: 10.1021/jf8015877. Epub 2008 Sep 11.

Nutritional benefit of olive oil: the biological effects of hydroxytyrosol and its arylating quinone adducts.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Olive oil is the essential component of the Mediterranean diet, a nutritional regimen gaining ever-increasing renown for its beneficial effects on inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. A unique characteristic of olive oil is its enrichment in oleuropein, a member of the secoiridoid family, which hydrolyzes to the catechol hydroxytyrosol and functions as a hydrophilic phenolic antioxidant that is oxidized to its catechol quinone during redox cycling. Little effort has been spent on exploring the biological properties of the catechol hydroxytyrosol quinone, a strong arylating electrophile that forms Michael adducts with thiol nucleophiles in glutathione and proteins. This study compares the chemical and biological characteristics of hydroxytyrosol with those of the tocopherol family in which Michael adducts of arylating desmethyltocopherol quinones have been identified and correlated with biologic properties including cytotoxicity and induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress. It is noted that hydroxytyrosol and desmethyltocopherols share many similarities, suggesting that Michael adduct formation by an arylating quinone electrophile may contribute to the biological properties of both families, including the unique nutritional benefit of olive oil.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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