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Mediterranean diet vegetable foods protect meat lipids from oxidation during in vitro gastro-intestinal digestion

posted on 15.10.2019 by Serena Martini, Angela Conte, Silvia Bottazzi, Davide Tagliazucchi

Meat lipids oxidation during digestion gives rise to a post-prandial oxidative stress condition, which negatively affects human health. Mediterranean Diet vegetables contain high amount of phenolic compounds, which potentially may reduce the oxidative phenomena during digestion. In vitro co-digestion of turkey meat with a typical Mediterranean Diet salad containing tomato, onion, black olives, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) and basil, dose-dependently reduced lipid peroxidation. Onion and EVOO were more effective in limiting oxidation than the other foods, resulting in negligible concentrations of lipid hydroperoxides after digestion. Specific phenolic classes dominated the phenolic profile of the different foods, such as flavonols and anthocyanins in onion, phenolic acids in tomato and basil, and tyrosol-derivatives in black olives and EVOO. The correlation between lipid peroxidation inhibition, phenolic constituents and antioxidant properties was evaluated by principal component analysis (PCA). Flavonols and anthocyanin were the major contributors to the bioactive response of vegetable foods.


This work was supported by a grant from Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (research project FAR2016 “Dieta Mediterranea e salute: riduzione dei fenomeni ossidativi durante la digestione della carne”). The authors acknowledge the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena for funding the HPLC-ESI-IT system at the Centro Interdipartimentale Grandi Strumenti (CIGS).