a1 Instituto de la Grasa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
a2 Residencia Heliópolis de la Tercera Edad, Junta de Andalucía, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
a3 Hospitales Universitarios Virgen del Rocío, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
In the present study we examined whether two virgin olive oils (VOO1 and VOO2), of the same variety (Olea europaea var. hojiblanca) and with a similar composition of minor components but differing in the content of triacylglycerol molecular species, had different effects on blood pressure and plasma lipid levels in a healthy elderly population. Thirty-one participants, aged 84·9 (SD 6·4) years, were asked to participate in the study. No differences were found with regard to blood pressure after both experimental periods (VOO1 and VOO2). However, plasma total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were reduced only after VOO1 (P<0·01). The reduction of plasma cholesterol concentrations was related to the incorporation of oleic acid into plasma cholesteryl esters and phospholipids, which was higher after VOO1 (P<0·01). Indeed, the oleic acid concentration in cholesteryl esters and phospholipids strongly correlated with plasma total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels in all experimental periods studied (r2>0·418, P<0·07), except for phospholipids in VOO1 (P=0·130 for total cholesterol and P=0·360 for LDL-cholesterol). These results have demonstrated that blood pressure and plasma lipids can be modified by the consumption of VOO in elderly people, but that the extent of such modification depends on the composition and amount of active minor components and triacylglycerol molecular species.
(Received May 13 2002)
(Revised November 19 2002)
(Accepted January 07 2003)