Taking three tablespoons of virgin olive oil daily reduce cardiovascular problems associated with diabetes, according to a study by a group of researchers from the Institute of Biomedical Research of Malaga (IBIMA) recently published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
The study found that taking small doses of hydroxytyrosol usually decreases, and even prevents, vascular inflammation or vasculopathy associated with diabetes mellitus. Hydroxytyrosol is a type of phenolic compound with high antioxidant capacity found in olives and olive oil.
Diabetes-related vascular diseases are characterized by a decrease in vasodilatory substances: nitric oxide and prostacyclin, which favors the narrowing of blood vessels that hinder normal blood circulation, leading to deterioration of the organic tissue in the body.
The researchers found that consuming 0.5 to 2.5 milligrams of hydroxytyrosol daily is enough to produce an anti-inflammatory effect at the vascular level and counteract this narrowing of blood vessels.
“The key to decreasing or preventing the onset of diabetic vascular disease is to apply this component. The issue is not to reverse the symptoms once they are there, but to reduce and slow their progression,” said Jose Antonio Gonzalez Correa, one of the researchers responsible for the study at the University of Malaga.
A simple way to incorporate into the diet and enjoy its beneficial effects, is to take between 30 and 40 ml of extra virgin olive oil daily, always raw, equivalent to about three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
An impediment to vascular disease:
The main objective of the research was to decide how hydroxytyrosol acts on the biomarkers of cardiovascular inflammation. Specifically, “processes related to oxidative damage processes associated with toxicity and cell death have been studied and involved in diabetic vasculopathy and blood vessel disease,” said González-Correa.
IBIMA researchers compared the effects of hydroxytyrosol on seven groups of ten rats: a healthy one (the control), a diabetic animal that received a saline solution and five other groups of diabetic rats that received different amounts of this polyphenol.
The results of the tests indicated that in the group of diabetic rats to which hydroxytyrosol had not been administered, biomarkers related to vascular disease increased and two vasodilators, nitric oxide and prostacyclin were reduced. This caused the blood vessels to narrow to the point of blocking blood flow, causing deterioration and death of the organic tissues. In contrast, in animals given the polyphenol, the effect was the opposite.
Previous research has already demonstrated the benefits of hydroxytyrosol and its anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or prevent the onset of cancers.