Objective: Consumption of olive oil may cause postprandial impairment of endothelial function, while acute ingestion of red wine seems to improve it. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the combined postprandial effects of two essential components of the Mediterranean diet, red wine and olive oil, on endothelial function.
Methods: Fifteen healthy subjects were enrolled in the study, which was comprised of 4 study days. Subjects were asked to consume a standard meal at each study day containing 50 gr of olive oil and 250 ml of wine. Two types of wine (red and white; rich and poor in antioxidants respectively) and two types of olive oil (green and refined; rich and poor in antioxidants respectively) were used in a 2*2 design. Endothelium dependent, flow mediated dilatation (FMD) was measured with a B-Mode ultrasound device at fast and 1, 2 and 3 hours postprandially.
Results: Combined consumption of red wine and green olive oil (both rich in antioxidants) improved FMD postprandially (p = 0.002, ANOVA for repeated measures), which remained significant 1 hour (p = 0.002) and 2 hours (0.037) following the meal compared to fasting levels. No other combination of wine and olive oil caused any significant alteration on FMD.
Conclusion: Acute consumption of both red wine and green olive oil, rich in antioxidants, led to an improvement in the postprandial endothelial function in healthy subjects. These findings provide an additional favorable effect of components of the Mediterranean diet and of their antioxidant substances on endothelial function, at the postprandial state.