Science News 02/08/2010

The extra virgin oil acts directly on DNA

The olive oil bio-phenols modify the expression of genes involved in arteriosclerosis

Extra virgin olive oil polyphenols could contribute in modifying the expression of some genes involves in arteriosclerosis.

According to the researcher Maria Isabel Covas of the Institut Municipal d’Investigacio Medica of Barcelona this is a very interesting result since “knowing which genes can be modulated by the diet could help people to choose more correctly the food suitable for their conditions”.

The researchers compared three groups of healthy volunteers. The first one followed a Mediterranean diet with an extra virgin oil rich in polyphenols; the second one followed a Mediterranean diet with a low polyphenol content oil, and the third followed its usual diet.

After three months the first group showed less activity in the genes involved in arteriosclerosis in the mononuclear cells of the peripheral blood. Moreover, in this group of people polyphenols showed a great impact also on the genes involved in coronary diseases.

Finally, the use of extra virgin olive oil in the context of a Mediterranean diet showed a positive effect on the DNA oxidation, on the insulin-resistance, on inflammatory processes and on carcinogenesis.


Valentini Konstantinidou, Maria-Isabel Covas, Daniel Muñoz-Aguayo, Olha Khymenets, Rafael de la Torre, Guillermo Saez, Maria del Carmen Tormos, Estefania Toledo, Amelia Marti, Valentina Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Maria Victoria Ruiz Mendez, and Montserrat Fito, "In vivo nutrigenomic effects of virgin olive oil polyphenols within the frame of the Mediterranean diet: a randomized controlled trial", FASEB J. 2010 24: 2546-2557, published online as doi:10.1096/fj.09-148452

di R. T.