A recently conducted research reveals that orujo (pomace) olive oil (POCTA), when added to the daily diet, can bring about marked reductions in obesity. As observed in a sample of obese mice, pomace olive oil also leads to a significant reduction in inflammatory and vascular complications.
The study, conducted by experts from the Pharmacology, Pediatrics, and Radiology at the University of Seville, and Dr. Rodriguez from the International University of Catalonia, reveals striking benefits of pomace olive oil in reducing obesity. It is important to note that POCTA is derived from a by-product of olive oil, known as orujo.
Orujo is regarded as industrial waste, however, this research reveals that its nutritional and biological value makes it a super-functional food staple. Orujo is a rich source of essential bioactive compounds, the triterpenic acids.
Image Credit: University of Seville
In order to conduct this study, the researchers undertook a comparative study that was conducted over a period of 10 weeks. The comparative study observed mice with two different kinds of diets: the “prejudicial fat”, a diet rich in saturated fats, and the second diet with orujo olive oil and the same amounts of calories.
When the 10 weeks came to an end, the mice who were given POCTA revealed significant weight loss, around 30% reductions in weight as compared to the mice group that was given a high-fat diet. For the first time, this study reveals that POCTA is highly effective at reducing body weight amongst animals suffering from obesity.
More importantly, it reveals that POCTA is also capable of reducing adipose tissue, or body fat, and hepatic inflammation, alongside reducing the obesity-related symptoms of insulin resistance and vascular dysfunction.
These preliminary animal-based researches offer valuable guidance into the traditional benefits of orujo olive oil as a functional food staple, given its rich concentration of triterpenic acids, including bioactive molecules such as maslinic acid and oleanolic acid. However, the researchers believe that there is a need to conduct controlled clinical trials to fully establish the therapeutic potential of these bioactive molecules, and deduce insightful conclusions of their impact on humans, and the spectre of any possible health repercussions.
Meanwhile, there are several other beneficial oils on the market that offer rich concentrations of bioactive molecules and a vast therapeutic potential to fight off obesity and metabolic dysfunctions generated by Metabolic Syndrome. These include coconut and palm oil, derived from the orujo of the olive. The findings of this study have establish a new direction of research to understand the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and its impact on obesity.
Carmen Maria Claro-Cala et al, Pomace Olive Oil Concentrated in Triterpenic Acids Restores Vascular Function, Glucose Tolerance and Obesity Progression in Mice, Nutrients (2020). DOI: 10.3390/nu12020323
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