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Sammichele di Bari, Italy

Lopez-Miranda J.,Sofia University | Perez-Jimenez F.,Sofia University | Ros E.,CIBER ISCIII | De Caterina R.,University of Chieti Pescara | And 44 more authors.
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases

Olive oil (OO) is the most representative food of the traditional Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet). Increasing evidence suggests that monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) as a nutrient, OO as a food, and the MedDiet as a food pattern are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. A MedDiet rich in OO and OO per se has been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipid profiles, blood pressure, postprandial hyperlipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and antithrombotic profiles. Some of these beneficial effects can be attributed to the OO minor components. Therefore, the definition of the MedDiet should include OO. Phenolic compounds in OO have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, prevent lipoperoxidation, induce favorable changes of lipid profile, improve endothelial function, and disclose antithrombotic properties. Observational studies from Mediterranean cohorts have suggested that dietary MUFA may be protective against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies consistently support the concept that the OO-rich MedDiet is compatible with healthier aging and increased longevity. In countries where the population adheres to the MedDiet, such as Spain, Greece and Italy, and OO is the principal source of fat, rates of cancer incidence are lower than in northern European countries. Experimental and human cellular studies have provided new evidence on the potential protective effect of OO on cancer. Furthermore, results of case-control and cohort studies suggest that MUFA intake including OO is associated with a reduction in cancer risk (mainly breast, colorectal and prostate cancers). © 2009 Elsevier B.V. Source

Solfrizzi V.,Center for Aging Brain | Frisardi V.,Center for Aging Brain | Capurso C.,University of Foggia | D'Introno A.,Center for Aging Brain | And 5 more authors.
Ageing Research Reviews

Drugs currently used in the treatment of cognitive impairment and dementia have a very limited therapeutic value, suggesting the necessity to potentially individualize new strategies able to prevent and to slow down the progression of predementia and dementia syndromes. An increasing body of epidemiological evidence suggested that elevated saturated fatty acids (SFA) could have negative effects on age-related cognitive decline (ARCD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Furthermore, a clear reduction of risk for cognitive decline has been found in population samples with elevated fish consumption, high intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly n - 3 PUFA. Epidemiological findings demonstrated that high PUFA intake appeared to have borderline non-significant trend for a protective effect against the development of MCI. Several hypotheses could explain the association between dietary unsaturated fatty acids and cognitive functioning, including mechanisms through the co-presence of antioxidant compounds in food groups rich in fatty acids, via atherosclerosis and thrombosis, inflammation, accumulation of b-amyloid, or via an effect in maintaining the structural integrity of neuronal membranes, determining the fluidity of synaptosomal membranes that thereby regulate neuronal transmission. However, recent findings from clinical trials with n - 3 PUFA supplementation showed efficacy on depressive symptoms only in non-apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers, and on cognitive symptoms only in very mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) subgroups, MCI patients, and cognitively unimpaired subjects non-APOE ε4 carriers. These data together with epidemiological evidence support a possible role of fatty acid intake in maintaining adequate cognitive functioning and possibly for the prevention and management of cognitive decline and dementia, but not when the AD process has already taken over. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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