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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Apr;58(4):760-7. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300304. Epub 2013 Oct 20.

Oleic acid increases hepatic sex hormone binding globulin production in men.

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Diabetes and Metabolism Research Unit, Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), ISCIII, Barcelona, Spain.



Low circulating sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Mediterranean diet has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. We aimed to test the hypothesis that the increase of circulating MUFA associated with olive oil consumption (primary fat source in Mediterranean diet) increases SHBG serum levels.


A total of 315 men were included. In these patients, nutrition data and plasma samples for SHBG assessment were obtained. In vitro studies to examine the effects of oleic and linoleic acid on SHBG production using HepG2 cells were performed. We provided evidence that SHBG serum levels were significantly higher in subjects using olive oil for cooking in comparison with subjects using sunflower oil. The SHBG levels correlated positively with MUFA (p < 0.001) and negatively with saturated fatty acids (p = 0.003). In the multiple regression analysis, MUFA were independently associated with SHBG levels and accounted for the 20.4% of SHBG variance. In vitro studies revealed that oleoyl-CoA increases SHBG production by downregulating PPAR-γ levels in HepG2 cells.


Olive oil consumption is associated with elevated SHBG serum levels. PPAR-γ downregulation induced by oleoyl-CoA is an important underlying mechanism of such regulation.


Cardiovascular risk; Mediterranean diet; Oleic acid; Olive oil; Sex hormone binding globulin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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