Olive polyphenols: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Oxidative stress and inflammation triggered by increased oxidative stress are the cause of many chronic diseases. The lack of anti-inflammatory drugs without side-effects has stimulated the search for new active substances. Plant-derived compounds provide new potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecules. Natural products are structurally optimized by evolution to serve biological functions, including the regulation of endogenous defence mechanisms and interaction with other organisms. This property explains their relevance for infectious diseases and cancer. Recently, among the various natural substances, polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), an important element of the Mediterranean diet, have aroused growing interest. Extensive studies have shown the potent therapeutic effects of these bioactive molecules against a series of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer. This post summarizes a review that begins from the chemical structure, abundance, and bioavailability of the main EVOO polyphenols to highlight the effects and the possible molecular mechanism(s) of action of these compounds against inflammation and oxidation, in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the mechanisms of inhibition of molecular signalling pathways activated by oxidative stress by EVOO polyphenols are discussed, together with their possible roles in inflammation-mediated chronic disorders, also considering meta-analysis of population studies and clinical trials.

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Olive pomace: how much do we know?

The Mediterranean area is responsible for about 98% of the olive oil worldwide production, with 900 million olive trees occupying 10 million hectares. However, the processing of 100 kg of olives leads to the production of 40 kg of wastes, mainly constituted by olive pomace, which is potentially recoverable as energetic or material source. In general, in the past 20 years, the exploitation of olive pomace has increased, but along with it, the need for further information about its chemical-physical characterization and the related hazard in industry. Thus, a risk analysis assessment was conducted and the results are summarized here.

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Gastronomic cultural EVOOlution of the virgin olive oil consumption model at the restaurant: Un update

Post-covid customer will enter the restaurant with a new vision of the concept of hygiene, which must take on a reciprocal value of right / duty between customer and restaurateur. This is the right time to change the marketing of extra virgin olive oil at the restaurant, because extra virgin olive oil is an element that embodies the different aspects of the expected and perceptible quality of a food: taste, sensory, knowledge, sacredness, syncretism, health, history, naturalness and authenticity.

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Olive oil production and its impact on natural aquatic resources

Olive oil extraction processes generate significant quantities of wastes, olive mill solid waste, and olive mill wastewater, which are rich in precious compounds but toxic to the environment. In particular, olive mill wastewater is highly toxic. It is often discarded in water bodies without pre-treatment, causing severe problems for the aquatic environments. The search for new techniques to treat, transform and enhance them is a necessity, and thermal techniques such as flash pyrolysis and hydro-carbonization have proven their effectiveness. These techniques make it possible to transform these highly toxic effluents into a strategic compound with high added value, which constitutes a real additional source of benefits for farmers and extraction units, and ultimately a clean, green and sustainable olive oil production industry.

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Effects of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols on Beta-Cell Function and Survival

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a major component of the Mediterranean diet and is appreciated worldwide because of its nutritional benefits in metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D). EVOO contains significant amounts of secondary metabolites, such as phenolic compounds (PCs), that may positively influence the metabolic status. This post reports a study where was investigated for the first time the effects of several PCs on beta-cell function and survival. The results show that hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and apigenin foster beta-cells’ health, suggesting that EVOO or supplements enriched with these compounds may improve insulin secretion and promote glycemic control in T2D patients.

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Potential Uses of Olive Oil Secoiridoids for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a combination of foods mainly rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that have been shown to have many health-enhancing effects. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an important component of the MD. The importance of EVOO can be attributed to phenolic compounds, represented by phenolic alcohols, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol, and to secoiridoids, which include oleocanthal, oleacein, oleuropein, and ligstroside. This post summarizes the most recent findings regarding the pharmacological properties, molecular targets, and action mechanisms of secoiridoids, focusing attention on their preventive and anti-cancer activities. The prospects for their possible use in human cancer prevention and treatment is also discussed.

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The smell of the Mediterranean

Olive oil is an appreciated food product with high nutritional value, besides being an essential component in many culture diets. In this post the author presents how an application of a simple and non-invasive paper-based optoelectronic nose could be used to evaluate the odor of olive oils. By developing suitable mobile apps, it can be possible in the future to evaluate food product quality in a portable, low-cost, and in-situ way.

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Secoiridoids: an intriguing class of bioactive compounds in olive oil

In the last two decades, phenolic compounds occurring in olive oils known as secoiridoids have attracted a great interest for their bioactivity. The aim of this study was to assess the secoiridoid contents as a function of olive cultivars, place of cultivation (i.e., different Italian regions) and olive oil processing, in particular two- vs. three-phase horizontal centrifugation. As expected, higher secoiridoid contents were generally found in olive oils produced by two-phase horizontal centrifugation. Moreover, some region/cultivar-related trends were evidenced, as oleuropein and ligstroside aglycones prevailed in olive oils produced in Apulia (Southern Italy), whereas the contents of oleacin and oleocanthal were relatively higher in EVOO produced in Central Italy (Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria). A lower content of all the four secoiridoids was generally found in EVOO produced in Sicily (Southern Italy) due to the intrinsic low abundance of these bioactive compounds in cultivars typical of that region

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