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Oleuropein in Olives Fights Fat

Brian Turner

Posted on February 17 2017

Cells have a built-in system for controlling body fat. Chemicals called uncoupling proteins cause cells to release energy as heat instead of using it to produce usable energy (i.e., ATP) or storing it as fat. Uncoupling proteins are particularly plentiful in brown fat located mainly in the upper torso and neck regions, which is an important tissue for weight control. Brown fat is a special kind of fat cell that generates heat and helps regulate bodyweight and fat. Researchers from Kobe Women’s University in Japan, in a study on rats, found that supplementing oleuropein, a chemical found in raw olives, increased uncoupling activity, which would enhance caloric expenditure. While it’s doubtful that eating olives will promote weight control, oleuropein supplements might be potent enough to trigger increases in uncoupling proteins. (The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 40: 209-218, 2017)