miércoles, 27 de marzo de 2013

Olive oil against Alzheimer’s Disease.

Source: ACS Chemical Neuroscience

Alzheimer's disease affects about 30 million people worldwide, but the prevalence is lower in Mediterranean countries. Scientists once attributed it to the high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats in olive oil, consumed in large amounts in the Mediterranean diet. Newer research suggested that the actual protective agent might be a substance called oleocanthal, which has effects that protect nerve cells from the kind of damage that occurs in this disease.

Oleocanthal, a phenolic component of extra-virgin olive oil, has been recently linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by accumulation of β-amyloid and tau proteins in the brain. However, the mechanism by which oleocanthal exerts its neuroprotective effect is still incompletely understood.

This study provides in vitro and in vivo evidence for the potential of oleocanthal to enhance
β-amyloid clearance from the brain via up-regulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and LDL lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP1), major β-amyloid transport proteins, at the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Results from in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated similar and consistent pattern of oleocanthal in controlling
β-amyloid levels. In cultured mice brain endothelial cells, oleocanthal treatment increased P-gp and LRP1 expression and activity. Brain efflux index (BEI%) studies of 125I-Aβ40 showed that administration of oleocanthal extracted from extra-virgin olive oil to C57BL/6 wild-type mice enhanced 125I-Aβ40 clearance from the brain and increased the BEI% from 62.0 ± 3.0% for control mice to 79.9 ± 1.6% for oleocanthal treated mice. Increased P-gp and LRP1 expression in the brain microvessels and inhibition studies confirmed the role of up-regulation of these proteins in enhancing 125I-Aβ40 clearance after oleocanthal treatment. Furthermore, our results demonstrated significant increase in 125I-Aβ40 degradation as a result of the up-regulation of Aβ degrading enzymes following oleocanthal treatment.

In conclusion, these findings provide experimental support that potential reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease associated with extra-virgin olive oil could be mediated by enhancement of
β-amyloid clearance from the brain.

olive oil

martes, 19 de marzo de 2013


 Around Elche there were about 25 olive oil mills in the middle of the twentieth century. Actually there are 3. One of them is “Almazara Candela”. Today most of the olive oil mills work by centrifugation, with modern automated systems, but this is one of the last that is still working with the traditional extraction system of hydraulic presses.
Candela´s presses working.
Candela´s presses working.

This olive oil mill is situated between olive trees, very near to Elche, 3 minutes by car from General Hospital (Lat. 38°15'3.84"N, Long.  0°39'41.50"O). It´s recommended to study the map before going there. Just before arriving, take as a reference a tall phone mast that is next to the mill. When you arrive you will find an old house, but not a placard of the oil mill.
Tall phone mast that is next to the mill
 Tall phone mast that is next to the mill

The Almazara Candela began operating in its current location in 1925, with a stone mill pulled by mules and two hand presses. In 1932 the first hydraulic press was installed.

About 80 “capachos” (like a circular carpet made up with polypropylene rope), are put in every press during two hours, and olive oil is separated by decanting of the obtained juice. Once extracted the olive oil, it´s stored in a stainless steel drums. This method is called “first cold pressure”, and many people say that this procedure gives the olive oil a more traditional flavor.
Putting crushed mass on the “capachos”.
Putting crushed mass on the “capachos”.
“Capachos” in the press and dripping olive oil.
“Capachos” in the press and dripping olive oil.

Along the year you can buy there virgin olive oil in plastic bottles of 2 or 5 liters. The work season goes from November to January, and then it´s possible to buy unfiltered olive oil, a special choice for olive oil lovers.
Virgin olive oil.
Virgin olive oil.

Almazara Candela

Almazara Candela beginning route

Almazara Candela final route

Almazara Candela  route

viernes, 15 de marzo de 2013

Olive oil health benefits:it makes you feel full 

Aroma compounds in olive oil regulate feeling of satiety.

Aroma compounds in olive oil regulate feeling of satiety.
Reduced-fat food products are gaining in popularity. More and more people are choosing “light” products in an attempt to lose weight, or at least in the hope that they will not gain any pounds. But whether these products are effective or not is a matter of dispute: While it is true that they contain fewer calories, people tend to overcompensate by eating more if they do not feel full. Now a study has shown how “natural” oils and fats regulate the sensation of feeling full after eating, with olive oil leading the way. So what makes this oil so effective?
Work groups at Technische Universität München (TUM) under Prof. Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Prof. Veronika Somoza studied four different edible fats and oils: Lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Over a period of three months, the study participants ate 500 grams of low-fat yoghurt enriched with one of the four fats or oils every day – as a supplement to their normal diet.

“Olive oil had the biggest satiety effect,” reports Prof. Peter Schieberle, Head of the TUM Chair of Food Chemistry and Director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry. “The olive oil group showed a higher concentration of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood. Subjectively speaking, these participants also reported that they found the olive oil yoghurt very filling.” During the study period, no member of this group recorded an increase in their body fat percentage or their weight.

Aroma is the key
“The findings surprised us,” admits Schieberle, “because rapeseed oil and olive oil contain similar fatty acids.” The researchers decided to turn their attention to a completely different type of substance – the aroma compounds in olive oil. In the second part of the study, one group was given yoghurt with olive oil aroma extracts and a control group was given plain yoghurt.
The results were conclusive: The olive oil group’s calorie intake remained the same, but the control group had been consuming an extra 176 kilocalories per day. Schieberle explains: “The aroma group adapted their eating habits – but the control group participants were obviously not able to do likewise. We also found that in comparison to the other group, the control group had less of the satiety hormone serotonin in their blood.”

Direct impact on blood sugar level
How long the feeling of satiety lasts after eating depends on a number of factors, but blood sugar level is particularly significant. The faster it falls, that is to say, the faster the somatic cells absorb glucose from the blood, the sooner the person will start to feel hungry again. In the next part of their study, the researchers investigated which of the aroma substances present in the oil are most effective at inhibiting glucose absorption.
The researchers used olive oils from Spain, Greece, Italy and Australia for their study. The research team managed to identify two substances that reduce the absorption of glucose from the blood in liver cells: Hexanal and E2-Hexenal. They also discovered that Italian olive oil contained larger amounts of the two aroma compounds.
“Our findings show that aroma is capable of regulating satiety,” concludes Schieberle. “We hope that this work will pave the way for the development of more effective reduced-fat food products that are nonetheless satiating.”

Publication: P. Schieberle, V. Somoza, M. Rubach, L. Scholl, M. Balzer; Identifying substances that regulate satiety in oils and fats and improving low-fat foodstuffs by adding lipid compounds with a high satiety effect; Key findings of the DFG/AiF cluster project “Perception of fat content and regulating satiety: an approach to developing low-fat foodstuffs”, 2009-2012.
Further information:

University of Vienna, Department of Nutritional and Physiological Chemistry, Christian Doppler Laboratory for Bioactive Aroma Compounds:
German Research Centre for Food Chemistry:

Prof. Dr. Peter Schieberle
Technische Universität München
Chair of Food Chemistry
T: +49.861.71.2932