How extra virgin olive oil fights fat tissue inflammation - and consequently diabetes and cardiovascular disease

  • Extra virgin oive oil is well-known for it's heart protecting action. It contains the phytochemical antioxidant hydroxytyrosol and the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) oleic acid, both of which are known for their blood vessel protecting properties and for their anti-inflammatory action.
  • A recent paper from Italy has now determined the mechanism by which hydroxytyrosol and oleic acid prevent and treat fat tissue inflammation.
  • Specifically, scientists found that both of those chemicals inhibit the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha, boost the anti-inflammatory fat tissue hormone adiponectin and also boost the beneficial fat tissue chemical PPAR-gamma, with the  combination of both hydroxytyrosol and oleic acid having being found to have an additive effect.
  • Olive oil contains several other beneficial phytochemicals, such as the antioxidant and anti-ageing compound oleuropein and the more recently discovered anti-cancer polyphenol oleocanthal.
  • But beware, olive oil may be healthy but it is also fattening, so moderation is the key here. Olive oil should be the preferred oil/fat to be used for cooking, together with coconut oil, but not in high quantities. In fact, coconut oil tends to be a bit less fattening due to the medium chain triglycerides it contains, which can be used for energy. But on the other hand coconut oil does not contain the healthful phytochemicals found in olive oil.
  • Source: Additive Regulation of Adiponectin Expression by the Mediterranean Diet Olive Oil Components Oleic Acid and Hydroxytyrosol in Human Adipocytes, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26030149/