Effect of hydroxytyrosol supplementation on the lipid profile and metabolic disease risk markers in healthy men
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Hydroxytyrosol (HT) has been found to be a potent antioxidant and hypocholesterolemic agent in various animal models of disease including dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of hydroxytyrosol (HT) supplementation on the lipid profile and metabolic risk markers in recreationally active men. Sixty-one (n = 61) subjects (21.46 ± 0.22 yrs, 179.46 ± 0.79 cm, 78.91 ± 1.19 kg) consumed HT in either a high dose (HI, 150 mg HT; n = 22), a low dose (LO, 50 mg HT; n = 20), or a placebo (PLA; n = 19) every day for 6 weeks. Blood draws were obtained at baseline, 14, 28, and 39 days under fasting conditions. Analyzed were the components of the plasma lipid profile: total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), the TC:HDLc fraction, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDLc), and triglycerides (Tg); and markers of metabolic risk: uric acid, lipase, hemoglobin (Hb), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and blood glucose (BG). The primary finding was that HT, in either HI or LO dosages did not cause clinically meaningful changes in the blood lipid profile or markers of metabolic risk. Subjects in the HI group experienced a small big significant increase in fasting blood glucose, while those in the PLA group experienced a significant increase in VLDLc concentration. In both cases, however, the mean values remained within their respective healthy reference ranges. Whether these changes would persist beyond the 6-week course of this study is not known. While no improvements were seen in any of our selected measures, these results indicate that HT supplementation, ranging from 50 to 150 mg/day, is safe to consume for durations up to 6 weeks in healthy young men. By maintaining the lipid profile and metabolic risk markers within a healthy range, it is possible that HT may impart a degree of protection against cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk, but such an effect may only be apparent when the plasma lipid and/or metabolic risk profile is abnormal.