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Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Help Improve Gut Health

When the intestinal barrier becomes more permeable, bacteria and toxins can leak through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The presence of bacteria and toxins in the bloodstream is called endotoxemia. A new study has found that extra virgin oil may help reduce gut permeability and endotoxemia.

Participants in the two-part study included 20 adults with impaired fasting glucose and 20 healthy adults. In the first part of the study, they were given a Mediterranean diet-style meal with 10 grams of extra virgin olive oil added or a Mediterranean diet-style meal without added olive oil. Markers of gut permeability and endotoxemia and blood glucose levels were measured at baseline and 2 hours after consumption of the meal.

Participants with impaired fasting glucose who received the meal containing extra virgin olive oil saw a significant reduction in markers of gut permeability and endotoxemia compared to those who did not receive the olive oil. They also saw a less significant increase in blood glucose and a more marked increase of blood insulin.

In the second part of the study, the 20 participants with impaired fasting glucose were given 40 grams of chocolate. Half of them received chocolate mixed with extra virgin olive oil and half received only chocolate. Markers of gut permeability and endotoxemia and blood glucose levels were measured at baseline and 2 hours after consumption of the chocolate.

Participants who consumed the chocolate mixed with olive oil saw reductions in markers of gut permeability and endotoxemia compared to those who only consumed chocolate.

The study was conducted by researchers from Sapienza University of Rome. It was published online ahead of print on May 21, 2022 in the journal Nutrients.

In a previous study, probiotic supplementation was found to help reduce stress-induced gut permeability
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