The health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil are well-known to all. But fewer people know about the physiological and biological formations behind these health benefits. A new international study has revealed that a compound found in the extra-virgin olive oil can reverse the adverse health effects of a high-fat diet.
Earlier, studies have already confirmed that antioxidant-rich extra-virgin olive oil can prevent the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But the study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Chile in South America, for the first time has revealed that a particular compound, which is exclusive to extra-virgin olive oil can significantly trim down the symptoms of insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – the pessimistic impacts of a high-fat diet on health.
The compound called Hydroxytyrosol is a type of phenolic phytochemical, rich in antioxidant properties and it is especially found in extra-virgin olive oil. Because of its antioxidant properties, the new research expects Hydroxytyrosol to play a fundamental role in providing several health benefits, one out of which is reversing the negative effects of high-fat diet.
For the experiment, published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease over this weekend, the research team from the University of Chile took four groups of 12-14 mice and fed them either a high-fat diet – containing 60% fat or a control diet having 10% fat, with or without supplementation of 5mg hydroxytyrosol per each kg body weight. The study went for 12 weeks between which, researchers orally administered the mice. After analysing the reports, researchers found that hydroxytyrosol is capable of reducing liver enzymes that are associated to a discrepancy in the fatty acid composition of the brain, liver, and heart as well as is responsible for increasing their activity.
As detailed by the study, the addition of a relatively small dose of hydroxytyrosol to the diet can overturn oxidative stress which is connected to the fatty liver disease. Similarly, the lower dose of the hydroxytyrosol also can also increase the levels of low-density lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol in the body. However, up to now, the researchers haven’t tested the formula on human, and hence the clinical corroboration of the aftermath is yet to be done.