Squalene in olive oil
Research conducted by the University of Zaragoza in a porcine model shows the power of olive oil derivatives in the control of fatty liver, an increasingly common pathology in humans. The result of the work, in which the University of Zaragoza, the University of Cambridge and the Lozano Blesa Clinical Hospital of Zaragoza participated, was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Previous studies by the same group had shown that squalene improved hepatic metabolism in mice and rabbits (this component actually accumulates in large quantities in the liver of sharks , animals that live more than 200 years).
One month’s administration of a 0.5% squalene supplement in a diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and fructose, among other components, does not did not alter the cholesterol content or the amount of fiber in the liver, but led to hepatic accumulation of squalene, and a decrease in triglyceride content and the surface of the lipid droplets in this organ, parameters which indicate an improvement of hepatic steatosis.
The study used a new lipid analysis, called lipidomics, which made it possible to study 467 different lipids at once</ strong> in animal liver and plasma. Thus, in the liver of those who had consumed squalene, an increase in specific lipids was observed, although others decreased.
In particular, in plasma, administration of squalene increased a non-inflammatory interleukin and also altered the plasma lipidome, increasing some triglycerides and decreasing non-esterified saturated fatty acids (NAFA).
The results of these cutting-edge analyzes suggest that the addition of squalene relieves steatohepatitis, despite the negative sign that the increase in hepatocytes would imply (although they do not imply an aggravation of the development of the disease). Results that, according to the researchers, pose a new challenge in the diagnosis of liver disease.