Inhibition of atherogenesis in rabbits by yoghurt enriched with olive mill by-product extracts

G.M. Stamatakis, H.C. Karantonis, C. Nasopoulou, V. Gkogkaki, S. Antonopoulou, D. Perrea, S.E. Theocharis, C.A. Demopoulos



Aim. The aim of the present paper is to investigate the possible antiatherogenic actions of a new functional food which is yoghurt 2% fat, enriched with the ethanolic extract of Olive Mill Wastes (OMW) rich in Biologically Active Lipids (BAL).
Materials and Methods. 30 New Zealand rabbits were divided into 3 groups, which were fed for 48 days an atherogenic diet, namely rabbit food enriched with 1% cholesterol (Group A), while one group was also given yoghurt 2% enriched with 500mg of BAL/120g yoghurt (Group B) and the third group was also administered commercial yoghurt 2% (Group C) manufactured by MEVGAL SA. The OMW came from a mill using a two phage centrifugal system for olive oil extraction. After the intervention the animals were euthanatized and their aortas were analyzed morphometrically after fixation in paraffin. Furthermore the blood lipids of the animals were measured before and after intervention.
Results. The animals did not indicate any adverse effects from the consumption of the two diets containing yoghurt and grew normally. The animals of Group B showed a decrease in the maximum and average thickness of atheromatous plaques by 54% and 57%, respectively, compared with Group A. Group C also showed a reduction of atheromatous plaques by 32% and 30% respectively,that did not reach statistical significance. There was no difference in the serum lipid levels of any of the three groups.
Conclusions. The dramatic reduction of the atheromatous plaques is not related to changes of blood lipid levels among the three groups and can probably be attributed to anti-PAF, anti inflammatory and antioxidant activities of the BAL from the OMW.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis, PAF, Olive Mill Wastes, Yoghurt