The Effects of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Supplementation and Aerobic Exercise Training on Inflammation and Hormones in Rats Fed an Atherogenic Diet




Aguirre, Maria Veronica

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Westernized diet and sedentary lifestyle may exacerbate systemic inflammation and provoke hormonal changes. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) derived phytochemicals oleocanthal (OLEO) and oleacein (OLEA) demonstrate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effects of OLEO/OLEA supplementation and aerobic exercise training (T) on plasma inflammatory cytokines and hormones in rats fed high fat atherogenic diet (A). METHODS: Forty-eight female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed an atherogenic diet consisting of 1.25% cholesterol and 0.5% cholic acid for 12 weeks. Half of the rats were supplemented with 20% EVOO containing high OLEO/OLEA (1000 mg/kg, HO, n=24) or low OLEO/OLEA (100 mg/kg, LO, n=24). In each dietary group, half group was trained (T) on treadmill for 12 weeks (25m/min, 10% grade for 60 min/day, 5 days/week), while the other half remained sedentary. Additionally, another two separate groups of rats were fed a chow diet (C, n=6) and atherogenic diet (A, n=12), respectively without OLEO/OLEA or aerobic exercise training , to confirm the atherogenic model. Inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)- 1β, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α) and hormones (leptin and insulin) were measured in plasma using Bioplex 200 Multiplex  immunoassay. RESULTS: The atherogenic group showed a significant increase on plasma IL1b and TNF-a levels when compared to the control group (P<0.01). LO showed a trend to increase IL-1b compared to A (P=0.060). Aerobic exercise training showed a significant main effect to lower TNF-α (P<0.05) and LO+T showed a trend to decrease TNF-α levels compared to A (P=0.059). LO decreased plasma insulin levels compared to A (P<0.05), and aerobic exercise training further decreased insulin concentrations in LO+T vs. A (P<0.001). HO+T showed lower insulin levels compared to A (P<0.05). HO increased plasma insulin levels compared to LO (P<0.05), while abolished by aerobic exercise training (P<0.05, HO+T vs. HO). CONCLUSIONS: An atherogenic diet significantly increased pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1b and TNF-a compared to control diet. Low OLEO/OLEA supplementation decreased insulin levels but was reversed by high OLEO/OLEA supplementation. Aerobic exercise training decreased insulin and TNF-a levels in atherogenic rats fed OLEO/OLEA.


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Extra virgin olive oil, Aerobic exercise, Atherogenic



Health and Kinesiology