Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 1295–1301 | Cite as

Consumption of extra-virgin olive oil rich in phenolic compounds improves metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a possible involvement of reduced levels of circulating visfatin

  • C. SantangeloEmail author
  • C. Filesi
  • R. Varì
  • B. Scazzocchio
  • T. Filardi
  • V. Fogliano
  • M. D’Archivio
  • C. Giovannini
  • A. Lenzi
  • S. Morano
  • R. Masella
Original Article



Phenolic compounds naturally contained in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The present study aimed at evaluating the effects of a polyphenol-rich extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (high-polyphenol EVOO, HP-EVOO) on the metabolic control and the production of specific pro-/anti-inflammatory adipokines in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D).


Eleven overweight T2D patients not in treatment with insulin were invited to follow their habitual diet for a total of 8 weeks. During the first 4 weeks (wash-out period), they were asked to consume refined olive oil (ROO, polyphenols not detectable) and then to replace ROO with HP-EVOO (25 mL/day, 577 mg of phenolic compounds/kg) for the remaining 4 weeks. Anthropometric parameters, fasting glycaemia, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), high-sensitive C-reactive protein, plasma lipid profile, liver function and serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6, adiponectin, visfatin and apelin were assessed at the end of each 4-week period.


HP-EVOO consumption significantly reduced fasting plasma glucose (P = 0.023) and HbA1c (P = 0.039) levels as well as BMI (P = 0.012) and body weight (P = 0.012). HP-EVOO ingestion determined a reduction in serum level of aspartate aminotransferase (AST, P = 0.0056) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT, P = 0.024). Serum visfatin levels strongly decreased after HP-EVOO ingestion (P = 0.0021).


Daily consumption of polyphenol-rich EVOO might improve metabolic control and circulating inflammatory adipokines profile in overweight T2D patients.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus Olive oil Polyphenols HbA1c Cytokines Visfatin 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving humans were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted, and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Santangelo
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Filesi
    • 1
  • R. Varì
    • 1
  • B. Scazzocchio
    • 1
  • T. Filardi
    • 2
  • V. Fogliano
    • 3
  • M. D’Archivio
    • 1
  • C. Giovannini
    • 1
  • A. Lenzi
    • 2
  • S. Morano
    • 2
  • R. Masella
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Nutrition, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food SafetyItalian National Institute of HealthRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and EndocrinologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Food Quality and Design GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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