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Concept: Olive oil

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Background Observational cohort studies and a secondary prevention trial have shown an inverse association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular risk. We conducted a randomized trial of this diet pattern for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events. Methods In a multicenter trial in Spain, we randomly assigned participants who were at high cardiovascular risk, but with no cardiovascular disease at enrollment, to one of three diets: a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control diet (advice to reduce dietary fat). Participants received quarterly individual and group educational sessions and, depending on group assignment, free provision of extra-virgin olive oil, mixed nuts, or small nonfood gifts. The primary end point was the rate of major cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes). On the basis of the results of an interim analysis, the trial was stopped after a median follow-up of 4.8 years. Results A total of 7447 persons were enrolled (age range, 55 to 80 years); 57% were women. The two Mediterranean-diet groups had good adherence to the intervention, according to self-reported intake and biomarker analyses. A primary end-point event occurred in 288 participants. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 0.70 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.92) and 0.72 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.96) for the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil (96 events) and the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet with nuts (83 events), respectively, versus the control group (109 events). No diet-related adverse effects were reported. Conclusions Among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events. (Funded by the Spanish government’s Instituto de Salud Carlos III and others; Controlled-Trials.com number, ISRCTN35739639 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Fat, Olive oil, Greece, Mediterranean diet

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OBJECTIVES: To examine cross-sectional associations of socioeconomic status (ie, income and education) with an adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern and obesity prevalence. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study on a sample of Italian subjects enrolled in the Moli-sani Project, a population-based cohort study. The Italian EPIC food frequency questionnaire was used to determine food intake. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MD) was appraised according to both the Mediterranean score elaborated by Trichopoulou (MDS) and the novel Italian Mediterranean Index (IMI) and to the a posteriori scores derived from principal component analysis. Four income categories were identified. SETTING: Molise region, Italy. PARTICIPANTS: 13 262 subjects (mean age 53±11, 50% men) out of 24 318 citizens (age ≥35) randomly enrolled in the Moli-sani Project. MAIN OUTCOMES: Dietary patterns and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. RESULTS: Household higher income were significantly associated with greater adherence to an MD (p<0.0001) and to Olive oil and Vegetables dietary pattern in a multivariable model including age, sex, daily energy intake, body mass index, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, education and marital status. The odds of having the highest adherence to an MD clearly increased according to income levels. People having the highest income had 54% (95% CI 21% to 97%, MDS) or 72% (95% CI 34% to 121%, IMI) higher probability to stick to an MD-like eating pattern than those in the lowest-income group. Obesity prevalence was higher in the lowest-income group (36%) in comparison with the highest-income category (20%, p<0.0001). Income was associated with dietary patterns in all categories of education. CONCLUSIONS: A higher income and education are independently associated with a greater adherence to MD-like eating patterns and a lower prevalence of obesity.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Obesity, Body mass index, Dieting, Wine, Olive oil

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The present study was designed to verify the influence of acute fat loading on high density lipoprotein (HDL) composition, and the involvement of liver and different segments of small intestine in the changes observed.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Liver, Lipoprotein, High-density lipoprotein, Lipoproteins, Small intestine, Lipid, Olive oil

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The Mediterranean olive tree (Olea europaea subsp. europaea) was one of the first trees to be domesticated and is currently of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The molecular bases underlying the phenotypic differences among domesticated cultivars, or between domesticated olive trees and their wild relatives, remain poorly understood. Both wild and cultivated olive trees have 46 chromosomes (2n).

Concepts: Fruit, Olive, Mediterranean climate, Olive oil, Greece, Mediterranean Basin, Olive leaf, Oleaceae

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Critical among the changes that occur with aging are decreases in muscle mass and metabolic rate and an increase in fat mass. These changes may predispose older adults to chronic disease and functional impairment; ultimately resulting in a decrease in the quality of life. Research has suggested that long chain omega-3 fatty acids, found predominantly in fatty fish, may assist in reducing these changes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of fish oil (FO) supplementation in a cohort of healthy, community-dwelling older females on 1) metabolic rate and substrate oxidation at rest and during exercise; 2) resting blood pressure and resting and exercise heart rates; 3) body composition; 4) strength and physical function, and; 5) blood measures of insulin, glucose, c-reactive protein, and triglycerides. Twenty-four females (66 ± 1 yr) were recruited and randomly assigned to receive either 3g/d of EPA and DHA or a placebo (PL, olive oil) for 12 wk. Exercise measurements were taken before and after 12 wk of supplementation and resting metabolic measures were made before and at 6 and 12 wk of supplementation. The results demonstrated that FO supplementation significantly increased resting metabolic rate by 14%, energy expenditure during exercise by 10%, and the rate of fat oxidation during rest by 19% and during exercise by 27%. In addition, FO consumption lowered triglyceride levels by 29% and increased lean mass by 4% and functional capacity by 7%, while no changes occurred in the PL group. In conclusion, FO may be a strategy to improve age-related physical and metabolic changes in healthy older females.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Triglyceride, Essential fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Olive oil

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Since the beginning of the 1990s, increasing evidence supports beneficial effects of nut consumption on health. A new analysis of the Spanish PREDIMED trial, published in BMC Medicine, has expanded our knowledge. The study showed that individuals eating nuts more than three times per week died less often from cardiovascular disease and cancer than non-consumers. The study also adds an important finding that previous epidemiological studies could not provide: a protective effect on premature mortality was only seen in the intervention group in which nut consumption increased during the 4.8 years of follow-up, not in the intervention group with additional olive oil consumption or in the control group. Nut consumption actually decreased during follow-up in the latter two groups. Questions remain to be answered on the quantity of nuts to be consumed for health benefits, on possible mechanisms of action, and on whether some types of nuts should be favored.Please see related research: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/164.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Cancer, Disease, Infectious disease, Demography, Fruit, Olive oil

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A method to encapsulate DNA in heat-resistant and inert magnetic particles was developed. An inexpensive synthesis technique based on co-precipitation was utilized to produce Fe2O3 nanoparticles, which were further functionalized with ammonium groups. DNA was adsorbed on this magnetic support and the DNA/magnet nanocluster was surface coated with a dense silica layer by sol-gel chemistry. The materials were further surface modified with hexyltrimethoxysilane to achieve particle dispersibility in hydrophobic liquids. The hydrodynamic particle sizes were evaluated by analytical disc-centrifugation and the magnetic properties were investigated by vibrating sample magnetometry. The obtained nanoengineered encapsulates showed good dispersion abilities in various non-aqueous fluids and did not affect the optical properties of the hydrophobic dispersant when present at concentrations lower than 1000 µg/L. Upon magnetic separation and particle dissolution, the DNA could be recovered unharmed and was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and Sanger sequencing. DNA encapsulated within the magnetic particles was stable for 2 years in decalin at room temperature and the stability was further tested at elevated temperatures. The new magnetic DNA/silica encapsulates were utilized to developed a low-cost platform for the tracing/tagging of oils and oil derived products, requiring 1 µg/L = 1 ppb levels of the taggant and allowing quantification of taggant concentration on a logarithmic scale. The procedure was tested for the barcoding of a fuel (gasoline), a cosmetic oil (bergamot oil), and a food grade oil (extra virgin olive oil), being able to verify the authenticity of the products.

Concepts: Polymerase chain reaction, Nanoparticle, Concentration, Magnetism, Sol-gel, Colloid, Liquid, Olive oil

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Recent studies show that the elderly have increased oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant defense systems. Our study aims to evaluate the effects of daily consumption of EVOO in the healthy institutionalized elderly. We studied anthropometric, biochemical and antioxidant parameters in 62 subjects aged 65-96 years after a 6-week daily intake of polyphenol-rich EVOO with high oleuropein derivative contents. Subjects were divided into a control group (CG) who maintained their dietary habits (n=39) and an olive group (OG) who consumed EVOO as the only added fat, plus a daily dose of 50ml (n=23). We found a significant reduction of total cholesterol (TC), HDL, LDL and TGs in OG subjects and a significant increase of HDL levels. There was no significant variation in the CG parameters. In OG the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in plasma increased with significant differences over CG. Plasma hydroxytyrosol (OH-Tyr) concentration showed a significant increase after EVOO intervention. Daily consumption of EVOO was found to have positive effects on lipid profiles, OH-Tyr levels and TAC. The results also show a significant increase of catalase (CAT) in erythrocytes and a decrease (p<0.05) in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GH-PX) activity after EVOO intake. To our knowledge, no other study has examined the effects of EVOO consumption on biochemical parameters, antioxidant capacity and antioxidant enzyme activity in healthy elderly subjects. In conclusion, our results show that nutritional intervention with EVOO improves antioxidant status in healthy elderly people.

Concepts: Nutrition, Death, Antioxidant, Superoxide dismutase, Olive, Olive oil, Hydroxytyrosol, Oleuropein

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Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (N-3) are essential nutrients for human health and integral components of neural tissues. There is evidence that N-3 supplementation may benefit exercise performance, however, no study has investigated the ergogenic potential of N-3 supplementation. Our objective was to determine the effect of short-term N-3 supplementation on neuromuscular-function and physical-performance in well-trained athletes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Fatty acids, Triglyceride, Essential fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Unsaturated fat, Olive oil

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Given the relevance of degenerative joint diseases in our society, the development of a novel pharmacologic intervention is a critically important public health goal. Recently, oleocanthal, a polyphenolic natural compound from extra virgin olive oil, has emerged as a potential therapeutic weapon for the treatment of inflammatory degenerative diseases. The goal of this study was to further evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of oleocanthal in murine macrophages J774 and murine chondrocytes ATDC5 with a particular focus on the inhibition of gene expression of pro-inflammatory factors such as MIP-1α and IL-6.

Concepts: Medicine, Gene expression, Anti-inflammatory, Olive oil, Hydroxytyrosol, Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, Olive leaf