Grasas y Aceites, Vol 49, No 2 (1998)

Virgin olive oil and cholesterol distribution and transbilayer movement in human erythrocyte membrane.

F. J. G. Muriana
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain

V. Ruiz Gutiérrez
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Spain


The influence of virgin olive oil intake (with regard to the ingestion of high-oleic sunflower oil) on cholesterol distribution and transbilayer movement in the erythrocyte membrane of healthy subjects and hypertensive patients (with or without concomitant hypercholesterolaemia) was studied. The activity of erythrocyte sodium-lithium countertransport and blood pressure were also determined. The study was conducted over two 4-week periods, with a washout (4-week) period between both monounsaturated diets. Olive oil (but not high-oleic sunflower oil) was able to reduce the erythrocyte sodium-lithium countertransport activity, to normalize the erythrocyte membrane cholesterol distribution and transbilayer movement, and to significantly diminish the systolic and diastolic Wood pressures in hypertensive patients. Our data indicate that olive oil enriched-diet may modulate and/or partially prevent the alteration of those pathogenic parameters related to human hypertension and Cardiovascular Pathology. These processes cannot be exclusively ascribed to the content of oleic acid in virgin olive oil.


Arterial blood pressure; Cholesterol distribution; Cholesterol transbilayer; High oleic sunflower oil; Humans; Sodium-lithium countertransport; Virgin olive oil.

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Copyright (c) 1998 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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