British Journal of Nutrition

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Effects of hydroxytyrosol-enriched sunflower oil consumption on CVD risk factors

Miguel Vázquez-Velascoa1, Ligia Esperanza Díaza2, Rocío Lucasa1, Sonia Gómez-Martíneza2, Sara Bastidaa1, Ascensión Marcosa2 and Francisco J. Sánchez-Muniza1 c1

a1 Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología I (Nutrición), Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain

a2 Grupo Inmunonutrición, Departamento de Metabolismo y Nutrición, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos y de la Nutrición (ICTAN), CSIC, 28040 Madrid, Spain


Inclusion of biophenols in traditional foods transforms them into functional foods that may help to decrease CVD risk. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the consumption of hydroxytyrosol-enriched sunflower oil (HSO) improves certain CVD biomarker values. A total of twenty-two healthy volunteers participated in a cross-over study involving two 3-week periods, separated by a 2-week washout period, in which volunteers consumed 10–15 g/d of either HSO (45–50 mg/d of hydroxytyrosol) or non-enriched (control) sunflower oil. Total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, arylesterase activity, oxidised LDL and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) levels were measured in the plasma obtained at the beginning and at the end of each treatment period. The HSO group displayed a significantly higher level (P < 0·01) of arylesterase activity and significantly lower levels of oxidised LDL and sVCAM-1 (both P < 0·05) than the control group. These results suggest that HSO may help prevent CVD.

(Received June 24 2010)

(Revised October 29 2010)

(Accepted November 02 2010)

(Online publication December 08 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Professor F. J. Sánchez-Muniz, fax +34 91 3941810, email


†  Both authors should be considered as the first author of this study.

Abbreviations: PON-1, paraoxonase 1; sVCAM-1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1