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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Olive has a natural chemical that can reduce blood sugar and aid in weight loss

Its safety for use in upcoming clinical studies will also be clarified by this.

A recent study on mice has revealed that elenolic acid, a naturally occurring substance in olives, can help people lose weight by lowering blood sugar levels. The findings may lead to the creation of natural remedies that are affordable and safe to use in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity in humans.

In comparison to control obese mice that did not receive elenolic acid, the researchers discovered that after just one week, obese diabetic mice given oral elenolic acid weighed much less and shown improved blood sugar (glucose) regulation.

The results will be presented at NUTRITION 2024, the premier annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, which will take place in Chicago from June 29 to July 2, by Hana Alkhalidy, PhD, a research scientist working in Liu’s lab at Virginia Tech.

In depth

Compared to metformin, one of the most popular oral medications for type 2 diabetes, the glucose-lowering effect of elenolic acid,was superior. It was comparable to that of the injectable diabetes treatment liraglutide.

But as natural products are generally poorly bioavailable, the researchers chose to investigate the possibility of indirectly regulating metabolic function by targeting the gut’s secretion of metabolic hormones.

In order to commence the new study, the scientists first identified natural substances that interact with L-cells, which are responsible for the production of two metabolic hormones after a meal. Together, these hormones, known as GLP-1 and PYY, regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, and satiety in order to help people avoid overeating. The screening procedure showed that these hormones can be released in the gut by elenolic acid, which is present in both mature olives and extra virgin olive oil. By degrading its precursor, oleuropein, they were able to produce elenolic acid at a lower cost than if they had extracted it straight from olives.

But as natural products are generally poorly bioavailable, the researchers chose to investigate the possibility of indirectly regulating metabolic function by targeting the gut’s secretion of metabolic hormones.

In order to commence the new study, the scientists first identified natural substances that interact with L-cells, which are responsible for the production of two metabolic hormones after a meal. Together, these hormones, known as GLP-1 and PYY, regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, and satiety in order to help people avoid overeating. The screening procedure showed that these hormones can be released in the gut by elenolic acid, which is present in both mature olives and extra virgin olive oil.

Following four to five weeks of treatment, the mice demonstrated insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels similar to healthy lean mice, along with a 10.7% reduction in adiposity.

Agouti-related peptide was downregulated in the hypothalamus, and increased circulating levels of PYY and GLP-1 are linked to the elenolic acid’s considerable reduction in food intake and promotion of weight loss. When overexpressed, a peptide linked to aging is known to promote overeating and weight gain.

Take away

The goal of Liu’s research group is to identify bioactive substances in natural products that can be used to treat diabetes. In the past, researchers searched for particular molecular targets for natural substances in organs including the liver, muscle, adipose tissues, and pancreas that actively aid in regulating metabolism.

The benefits observed in this study would most likely not be obtained from olive products alone, according to the researchers, because the content of elenolic acid in olive oil or olives is quite low.

By examining the compound’s path through the body to determine how it is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated, the study team is currently attempting to comprehend how this substance produces metabolic benefits. Its safety for use in upcoming clinical studies will also be clarified by this.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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