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Effects of olive oil and its minor phenolic constituents on obesity-induced cardiac metabolic changes

Geovana MX Ebaid12, Fábio RF Seiva12, Katiucha KHR Rocha1, Gisele A Souza12 and Ethel LB Novelli1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute of Biological Sciences, São Paulo State University, UNESP, 18618-000, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Post Graduation Course Department of Clinical and Cardiology, School of Medicine, São Paulo State University, UNESP, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil

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Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:46  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-46

Published: 19 October 2010



Olive oil and its minor constituents have been recommended as important dietary therapeutic interventions in preventive medicine. However, a question remains to be addressed: what are the effects of olive oil and its phenolic compounds on obesity-induced cardiac metabolic changes?


Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups (n = 24/group): (C) receiving standard-chow; (Ob) receiving hypercaloric-chow. After 21 days C and Ob groups were divided into four subgroups (n = 6/group):(C) standard-chow and saline; (C-Olive)standard-chow and olive-oil (3.0 g/; (C-Oleuropein)standard-chow and oleuropein (0.023 mg/kg/day); (C-Cafeic) standard-chow and cafeic-acid (2.66 mg/kg/day); (Ob)receiving hypercaloric-chow and saline;(Ob-Olive) hypercaloric-chow and olive-oil;(Ob-Oleuropein) hypercaloric-chow and oleuropein;(Ob-Cafeic) hypercaloric-chow and cafeic-acid. Treatments were given twice a week during 21 days.


After 42 days, obesity was evidenced in Ob rats from enhanced body-weight, surface-area, and body-mass-index. Energy-expenditure, oxygen consumption(VO2) and fat-oxidation were lower in Ob-group than in C. Despite no morphometric changes, Ob-Olive, Ob-Oleuropein and Ob-Cafeic groups had higher VO2, fat-oxidation, myocardial beta-hydroxyacyl coenzyme-A dehydrogenase and lower respiratory-quotient than Ob. Citrate-synthase was highest in Ob-Olive group. Myocardial lipid-hydroperoxide(LH) and antioxidant enzymes were unaffected by olive-oil and its compounds in obesity condition, whereas LH was lower and total-antioxidant-substances were higher in C-Olive and C-Oleuropein than in C.


The present study demonstrated for the first time that olive-oil, oleuropein and cafeic-acid enhanced fat-oxidation and optimized cardiac energy metabolism in obesity conditions. Olive oil and its phenolic compounds improved myocardial oxidative stress in standard-fed conditions.