Health & Gastronomy 29/07/2014

Not only polyphenols. Even a fatty acid of extra virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties

Researchers at the University of Jaén have confirmed the presence of nitrooleic acid in three olive varieties. This compound could prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease

Published in PLoS ONE, the University of Jaen found nitrooleic fatty acid in the extra virgin olive oil produced by three varieties in the region.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Biomedical Research (Ceinbio) to Montevideo (Uruguay) and the Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh (USA).

The researchers Beatriz Sánchez, Chapel Mata, Maria Nieves Padilla, Juan Carlos Valderrama Begara and Raquel have found the acid nitrooleico in extra virgin olive oil of the Picual, Arbequina and Frantoio (Italian cultivar).

The anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protection are "amply demonstrated" according to the investigators, so the extra virgin is "superlative" and is a "food supplement with significant added value to health."

The research has also shown that it is the mere presence of this molecule to exert health benefits. The extra virgin, mixed with other foods and gastric juices of the stomach, increases the anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition, the preliminary results, in collaboration with researchers from Montevideo, also seem to show an effect on neurodegenerative diseases, leading, for example, a delay in symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The oil, therefore, "could be used as a drug from the standpoint of nutraceutical."

The researchers explained that not all varieties of olive oils and therefore, could have the same amount of acid nitroleico, but this could not be a limit. Laboratory simulations have in fact led to the discovery that in the presence of a very acidic pH, such as that of the stomach, and in the presence of nitrites, abundant in vegetables, the acid nitroleico is absorbed more easily, by carrying out so its anti-inflammatory function and protection cardiovascular.

di T N