Grasas y Aceites, Vol 71, No 4 (2020)

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities of the unsaponifiable fraction of extra virgin olive oil

M. M. Elaasser
The Regional Center for Mycology and Biotechnology, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

M. K.S. Morsi
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Egypt

S. M. Galal
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Egypt

M. K. Abd El-Rahman
National Nutrition Institute, Ministry of Health and Population, Egypt

M. A. Katry
National Nutrition Institute, Ministry of Health and Population, Egypt


The health benefits of olive oil are well-known. In this study, the unsaponifiable fraction of extra virgin olive oil (Unsap) was investigated for reducing power capacity, ferric reducing antioxidant power, fer-rous chelating activity and nitric oxide inhibition. The present study was also designed to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic effect of the Unsap against human carcinoma cells. The anti-inflammatory potential of Unsap has been determined via the inhibition of Human Cyclooxygenases. The results showed that Unsap is efficient for ferric reducing antioxidant power and nitric oxide inhibition. Unsap has a selective effect as anti-inflammatory agent. The results showed moderate to good in vitro antitumor activities of Unsap against human liver, lung and pancreas cancer cells with IC50 ranging from 19.6 to 30.4 μg/mL and good selectivity index (≥ 2). In conclusion, Unsap represents a promising and safe antitumor and antioxidant material that supports the need for further investigation.


Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Cytotoxicity; Olive oil; Unsaponifiable fraction

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