Oleacein. translation from Mediterranean diet to potential antiatherosclerotic drug

Curr Pharm Des. 2015;21(9):1205-12. doi: 10.2174/1381612820666141007141137.


Epidemiological studies suggest that the cardioprotective properties of olive oil, particularly extra-virgin type, result from a positive influence of its components, such as phenolic compounds, on the cardiovascular system. One of the most abundant phenolic compounds of extra virgin olive oil is the dialdehydic form of elenolic acid conjugated with 3, 4-(dihydroxyphenyl)ethanol (3, 4- DHPEA-EDA), also known as oleacein. Due to its abundance in olive oil, it may play a special role in decreasing the progression of atherosclerosis. Some bioactivities of oleacein, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and antimicrobial, were documented. There is also evidence of the bioavailability of oleacein in humans as well. However, due to the lack of clinical data, further studies are needed to provide information about the usefulness of this compound in antiatherosclerotic therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / pharmacokinetics
  • Aldehydes / pharmacology
  • Aldehydes / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Biological Availability
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Endothelial Progenitor Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Phenols / pharmacokinetics
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*


  • Aldehydes
  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • oleacein