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    ABSTRACT: Oleocanthal, a phenolic component of extra-virgin olive oil, has been recently linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau proteins in the brain. However, the mechanism by which oleocanthal exerts its neuroprotective effect is still incompletely understood. Here, we provide in vitro and in vivo evidence for the potential of oleocanthal to enhance Aβ clearance from the brain via up-regulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and LDL lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP1), major Aβ 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 Aβ levels. In cultured mice brain endothelial cells, oleocanthal treatment increased P-gp and LRP1 expression and activity. Brain efflux index (BEI%) studies of (125)I-Aβ(40) showed that administration of oleocanthal extracted from extra-virgin olive oil to C57BL/6 wild-type mice enhanced (125)I-Aβ(40) 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 (125)I-Aβ(40) clearance after oleocanthal treatment. Furthermore, our results demonstrated significant increase in (125)I-Aβ(40) 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 AD associated with extra-virgin olive oil could be mediated by enhancement of Aβ clearance from the brain.
    ACS Chemical Neuroscience 02/2013; 4(6). DOI:10.1021/cn400024q · 4.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The benefits of the Mediterranean diet (MD) for protecting against chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease are usually attributed to high consumption of certain food groups such as vegetables, and low consumption of other food groups such as meat. The influence of food processing techniques such as food preparation and cooking on the nutrient composition and nutritional value of these foods is not generally taken into consideration. In this narrative review, we consider the mechanistic and epidemiological evidence that food processing influences phytochemicals in selected food groups in the MD (olives, olive oil, vegetables and nuts), and that this influences the protective effects of these foods against chronic diseases associated with inflammation. We also examine how the pro-inflammatory properties of meat consumption can be modified by Mediterranean cuisine. We conclude by discussing whether food processing should be given greater consideration, both when recommending a MD to the consumer and when evaluating its health properties.
    Nutrients 09/2015; 7(9):7925-7964. DOI:10.3390/nu7095371 · 3.27 Impact Factor