Group of Antioxidants and Free Radicals in Biotechnology, Food and Agriculture. Estación Experimental Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC); 1, Profesor Albareda, Granada 18008, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : The peptide and protein composition of olive oil is mostly unknown and the few studies available have not focused on the study of its low molecular weight peptides. We hypothesised that olive oil could naturally contain low molecular weight peptides with antihypertensive effect. METHODS : We produced virgin olive oil (unfiltered, var. Picual) and obtained a water-soluble peptide extract. We fractionated the peptide extract by FPLC and studied its angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. We studied the antihypertensive effect of olive oil peptides on the systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) using an animal model of hypertension (spontaneously hypertensive rats, SHR). The animals were randomly distributed into 3 study groups (n = 8 per group) and received an oral dose of olive oil peptides (0.425 mg/kg of BW), or a dose of Captopril (50 mg/kg of BW) or water. SBP and DBP were registered in the rats before administration and a at 2, 4, 6, 8, 24 and 48 h post-administration of the corresponding dose. RESULTS : The peptide extract and FPLC purified fractions possessed angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity. Acute oral administration of olive oil water-soluble extract produced an average blood pressure reduction of 10 mmHg at 4 h (P < 0.01) and reached a maximum antihypertensive effect of 20 mmHg at 6 h, compared with baseline. CONCLUSIONS : Unfiltered virgin olive oil contains peptides and a water-soluble extract obtained from this oil possesses ACE inhibitory activity and in vivo antihypertensive effect.