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Oleic Acid Content Is Responsible for the Reduction in Blood Pressure Induced by Olive Oil

S. Terés, G. Barceló-Coblijn, M. Benet, R. Álvarez, R. Bressani, J. E. Halver and P. V. Escribá
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 105, No. 37 (Sep. 16, 2008), pp. 13811-13816
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25464133
Page Count: 6
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Oleic Acid Content Is Responsible for the Reduction in Blood Pressure Induced by Olive Oil
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Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that high olive oil intake reduces blood pressure (BP). These positive effects of olive oil have frequently been ascribed to its minor components, such as α-tocopherol, polyphenols, and other phenolic compounds that are not present in other oils. However, in this study we demonstrate that the hypotensive effect of olive oil is caused by its high oleic acid (OA) content (≈70-80%). We propose that olive oil intake increases OA levels in membranes, which regulates membrane lipid structure (${\rm H}_{{\rm II}}$ phase propensity) in such a way as to control G protein-mediated signaling, causing a reduction in BP. This effect is in part caused by its regulatory action on G protein-associated cascades that regulate adenylyl cyclase and phospholipase C. In turn, the OA analogues, elaidic and stearic acids, had no hypotensive activity, indicating that the molecular mechanisms that link membrane lipid structure and BP regulation are very specific. Similarly, soybean oil (with low OA content) did not reduce BP. This study demonstrates that olive oil induces its hypotensive effects through the action of OA.

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