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Effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Biomarkers of Inflammation in HIV-Infected Patients: A Randomized, Crossover, Controlled Clinical Trial

Sanja Kozić Dokmanović, Krunoslava Kolovrat, Renata Laškaj, Vedrana Jukić, Nada Vrkić, Josip Begovac

Department for Biochemistry and Hematology, University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr Fran Mihaljević”, Zagreb, Croatia

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2406-2413

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893881

Available online:

Published: 2015-08-16

BACKGROUND: Premature atherosclerosis in HIV-infected patients is associated with chronic infection by itself and adverse effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART). Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
The objective of this study was to determine whether the consumption of EVOO improves inflammation and atherosclerosis biomarkers in HIV-infected patients receiving ART.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This randomized, crossover, controlled trial included 39 HIV-positive male participants who consumed 50 mL of EVOO or refined olive oil (ROO) daily. Four participants dropped out of the study. Leukocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6, fibrinogen, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, malondialdehyde, glutathione-peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, oxidized LDL and von Willebrand factor were determined before the first and after each of the 2 intervention periods. Intervention and washout periods lasted for 20 and 14 days, respectively.
RESULTS: In participants with >90% compliance (N=30), hsCRP concentrations were lower after EVOO intervention (geometric mean [GM], 1.70 mg/L; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–2.52) compared to ROO administration (GM, 2.92 mg/L; 95% CI, 1.95–4.37) (p=0.035). In participants using lopinavir/ritonavir, ESR and hsCRP concentrations decreased 62% and 151%, respectively, after EVOO administration. In the whole study population (N=35) we found no difference in analyzed biomarkers after EVOO administration.
CONCLUSIONS: Our exploratory study suggests that EVOO consumption could lower hsCRP in patients on ART.

Keywords: Adult, Adolescent, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Atherosclerosis - prevention & control, Biomarkers - blood, C-Reactive Protein - metabolism, Cross-Over Studies, Drug Combinations, Food Handling, HIV Infections - drug therapy, HIV Protease Inhibitors - therapeutic use, Inflammation Mediators - blood, Lopinavir - therapeutic use, Olive Oil - isolation & purification, Ritonavir - therapeutic use, Single-Blind Method, young adult