It is the food with the highest calorific value, but it could be useful in the treatment of diabetes thanks to its ability to reduce blood glucose levels after meals. A study of the Sapienza in Rome speaks of the extraordinary properties of olive oil. We talk about this topic with Dr. Cesare Celeste Berra, Head of Diabetology at Humanitas.
Oleuropein lowers blood glucose levels
According to the study published in the British Journal Clinical Pharmacology, oleuropein, one of the specific components of the condiment preferred by Italians, is able to reduce post-prandial glycaemia. Scientists concentrated on a sample of healthy people who were given 20 mg of oleuropein during a meal typical of Italian cuisine. By comparing the results with the placebo control group two hours after the meal, the researchers observed a significant reduction in blood glucose only when the participants were taking 20 mg of oleuropein. Another interesting observation is that, after this time interval, the patients had the same glycemic levels as before the meal.
The role of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes
The research opens new perspectives to fight diabetes with natural substances such as oleuropein, present not only in the oil but also in the leaves of the olive tree. This data is very important given that diabetes is one of the main causes of myocardial infarction and stroke and in 2016 in Italy it affects more than three million Italians.
The intake of olive oil in the diet is recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular complications and arteriosclerosis, without forgetting the importance of being followed by a diabetologist to define the correct course of treatment, including pharmacological therapy.