Dr. Doug Mashek with a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota has discovered that olive oil in the Mediterranean diet may be the key to improving lifespan and mitigating aging-related diseases.
Early studies on the diet suggested that red wine had a major part in the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet because it contains a compound called resveratrol. However, work in Mashek's lab suggests that it is the fat in olive oil, another component of the Mediterranean diet, that is actually bringing the outcome.
Simply consuming olive oil is not enough to evoke all of the health benefits, the other necessary steps are fasting, limiting caloric intake and exercise. In this way, the consumption of olive oil will be the best noticed.
"We found that the way these fat works is it first has to get stored in microscopic things called lipid droplets, which is how our cells store fat. And then, when the fat is broken down during exercising or fasting, for example, is when the signaling and beneficial effects are realized," Mashek said.
The next goal would be to discover new drugs or dietary treatments that will be used to improve health.
"We want to understand the biology, and then translate it to humans, hopefully changing the paradigm of healthcare from someone going to eight different doctors to treat his or her eight different disorders," Mashek said. "These are all aging-related diseases, so let's treat aging."
Charles P. Najt, Salmaan A. Khan, Timothy D. Heden, Bruce A. Witthuhn, Minervo Perez, Jason L. Heier, Linnea E. Mead, Mallory P. Franklin, Kenneth K. Karanja, Mark J. Graham, Mara T. Mashek, David A. Bernlohr, Laurie Parker, Lisa S. Chow, Douglas G. Mashek. Lipid Droplet-Derived Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Traffic via PLIN5 to Allosterically Activate SIRT1. Molecular Cell, 2020; 77 (4): 810 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.12.003
Disclaimer: The purpose of this text is to stimulate critical health thinking. Medical information does not amount to advice and if advice is needed an appropriate professional help should be asked. No warranties or representations are given in respect of the medical information, and the website operator should not be held liable if a user suffers any injury or loss after relying upon the medical information.