Olive oil, dietary fat and ageing, a mitochondrial approach
Keywords:Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Mitochondrial electron transport chain, Aging, Mediterranean diet
Ageing represents a great concern in developed countries because the high number of people included in this group (indeed, a further increase in the rate of old people it is expected in the near future). Another important aspect concerning ageing is the number of pathologies related with this phenomenon like Alzheimer, Parkinson, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. According to the free radical theory of ageing and its further mitochondrial extension, ageing is the result of the oxidative insult to the organism throughout the life. Some of the damages are not entirely repaired and are accumulated, leading to organism malfunction. Such oxidative-stress related events are particularly important in mitochondria and specially at the mitochondrial DNA level (less protected and more prone to oxidation than nuclear DNA and with a not well established repairing system). Such mitochondrial damage directly affects to the cell energy delivery system, being that, at least in part, the explanation for the structural and functional impairments related to age. Oxidative stress is related with the fatty acid composition of membranes. The intake of a type of fat affects in a direct way the fatty acids and antioxidants composition of subcellular membranes (including mitochondrial membranes) and in an indirect way the susceptibility of the membrane to oxidation. Thus, if we build specific biological membranes according to particular types of fats, we would be able to positively affect the way and intensity in which different organs would age. This work hypothesis represents a new point of view in the investigation of ageing and might have important consequences. According to the above-mentioned premises, this work reviews the convenience to use virgin olive oil as dietary fat from the point of view of mitochondrial ageing.
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