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Nutr Diabetes. 2015 Jul 20;5:e172. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2015.23.

Extra virgin olive oil use is associated with improved post-prandial blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in healthy subjects.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
2
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
3
AFC Patrimonio Servizi e furniture UO ristorazioni, Policlinico Umberto I, Rome, Italy.
4
Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina, Italy.
5
1] Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy [2] Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a key component of the Mediterranean diet and seems to account for the protective effect against cardiovascular disease. However, the underlying mechanism is still elusive.

DESIGN:

We tested the effect of EVOO, added to Mediterranean-type meal, on post-prandial glycemic and lipid profile.

SUBJECTS:

Post-prandial glycemic and lipid profile were investigated in 25 healthy subjects who were randomly allocated in a cross-over design to a Mediterranean-type meal added with or without 10 g EVOO (first study), or Mediterranean-type meal with EVOO (10 g) or corn oil (10 g; second study). Glycemic profile, which included glucose, insulin, dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) protein and activity, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and lipid profile, which included, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C), oxidized LDL (ox-LDL), triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C), were analyzed before and 2 h after the meal.

RESULTS:

In the first study, 2 h after meal, subjects who assumed a meal with EVOO had significantly lower blood glucose (P<0.001), DPP-4 protein (P<0.001) and activity (P<0.001), LDL-C (P<0.001) and ox-LDL (P<0.001) and higher insulin (P<0.05), GLP-1 (P<0.001) and GIP (P<0.05) compared with those without EVOO. The second study showed that compared with corn oil, EVOO improved both glycemic and lipid profile. Thus, a significantly smaller increase of glucose (P<0.05), DPP4 protein (P<0.001) and activity (P<0.05) and higher increase of insulin (P<0.001) and GLP-1 (P<0.001) were observed. Furthermore, compared with corn oil, EVOO showed a significantly less increase of LDL-C (P<0.05) and ox-LDL (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

We report for the first time that EVOO improves post-prandial glucose and LDL-C, an effect that may account for the antiatherosclerotic effect of the Mediterranean diet.

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