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Research Pinpoints Genetic Basis Of Olive Oil’s Anti-Inflammatory Benefit

April 19, 2010: 10:07 AM EST
The “Mediterranean Diet” of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and olive oil has for some time been associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and, in turn, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Scientists in Spain have now discovered a genetic basis for that association, finding that consuming virgin olive oil rich in phenolic micronutrients represses several pro-inflammatory genes. The finding suggests that the diet switches the activity of immune system cells to a less harmful inflammatory profile. According to the researchers, "These results provide at least a partial molecular basis for the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease observed in Mediterranean countries, where virgin olive oil represents the main source of dietary fat.”
Antonio Camargo, Juan Ruano, et al. , "Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells from patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil", BMC Genomics, April 19, 2010, © BioMed Central Ltd.
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