The atherogenicity of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) may be more significant than LDL cholesterol levels. Clinical trials which have led to increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol have not always seen reductions in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Furthermore, genetic variants predisposing individuals to high HDL cholesterol are not associated with a lower risk of suffering a coronary event, and therefore HDL functionality is considered to be the most relevant aspect. Virgin olive oil (VOO) is thought to play a protective role against CVD. This review describes the effects of VOO and phenol-enriched VOOs on lipoprotein atherogenicity and HDL atheroprotective properties. The studies have demonstrated a decrease in LDL atherogenicity and an increase in the HDL-mediated macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity, HDL antioxidant activity, and HDL anti-inflammatory characteristics after various VOO interventions. Moreover, the expression of cholesterol efflux-related genes was enhanced after exposure to phenol-enriched VOOs in both post-prandial and sustained trials. Improvements in HDL antioxidant properties were also observed after VOO and phenol-enriched VOO interventions. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated improved characteristics of TRL atherogenicity under postprandial conditions after VOO intake. Large-scale, long-term randomized clinical trials, and Mendelian analyses which assess the lipoprotein state and properties, are required to confirm these results.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited