Scientists at the University of Malaga, integrated at the Institute of Biomedical Research in Malaga (IBIMA), in collaboration with experts from the Fat Institute (CSIC) in Spain, have shown that daily consumption of hydroxytyrosol — a polyphenol with antioxidant properties found in extra virgin olive oil — minimizes or may even prevent vascular problems associated with diabetes mellitus.
This study, conducted in rat models of diabetes, shows that the continuous intake of hydroxytyrosol in low doses — between 0.5 and 2.5 milligrams — is sufficient to decrease vascular inflammation or vasculopathies linked to the disease.
According with the article published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, this substance can be ingested through extra virgin olive oil. To appreciate the benefits is necessary to take 30 to 40 millilitres of raw oil daily, equivalent to about 3 tablespoons approx.
“The key to slow or prevent the onset of diabetic vascular disease is to consume this component as soon as the disease is diagnosed, because it is not about reversing the symptoms once produced, but slow and decrease their progression,” explains José Antonio González-Correa, one of the researchers behind the study.
Previous studies suggest that hydroxytyrosol has various biological effects. Most notably, it has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, prevention against certain types of cancer, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties.
The main objective of this work, partly funded by the Progress and Health Foundation of the Andalusian Board and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), was to determine the influence of different doses of hydroxytyrosol — administered orally — on cardiovascular inflammation biomarkers.
“Specifically, we have studied the process related to oxidative damage associated with toxicity or cell death, involved in diabetic vascular disease and blood vessel disease,” González-Correa says.
This study was conducted in an experimental rat models: 7 groups of 10 copies; of which one group consists of non-diabetic animals, called control; another group comprises diabetic animals that received a saline solution. The rest of the groups were formed by diabetic rats treated with different doses of hydroxytyrosol, to determine the amount that starts being effective. These 5 groups received intakes of 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5 and 10mg respectively.
In the case of untreated diabetic animals, the researchers found an increase in biomarkers associated with vascular disease and a reduction of two vasodilators: Nitric oxide and prostacyclin. This causes blood vessels to constrict so that prevent or reduce circulation of blood through the arteries, resulting in a deterioration or even death of organ tissues of the body.
In the case of the treated animals, the researchers found decrease levels of cardiovascular inflammation biomarkers, in comparison with the group that received the saline solution. According with the study, hydroxytyrosol reduced both oxidative and nitrosative stress, influenced the major biochemical processes leading to diabetic vasculopathy, and reduced cell proliferation in the vascular wall in this experimental model.
Source: Agencia SINC