Affiliations: [a] Department of Physiology, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology “José Mataix”, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Granada, 18100 Armilla, Spain
| [b] Sport and Health Research Centre, University of Granada, 18016 Armilla, Granada, Spain
Corresponding author: María D. Navarro-Hortal, Department of Physiology, Institute of Nutrition and Food
Technology “José Mataix”, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Granada, Armilla, Avda. del
Conocimiento s.n., 18100 Armilla, Spain. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Diet plays a central role in aging and in the prevention of age-related diseases. Specifically, dietary lipids have influence on processes like oxidative stress or inflammation. This review summarizes and compares the effects of lifelong feeding on three different fat sources, namely virgin olive oil, sunflower oil or fish oil (which differ in fatty acid profile and minor components content) in the pancreas, liver, alveolar bone and femur of old rats. Also, effects on longevity and causes of death are summarized. Animals fed on virgin olive oil had a lower number of β cells and insulin content in the pancreas, less liver fibrosis, less loss of alveolar bone, and greater bone mass density in the femur. In general, the markers of oxidative damage at the liver, pancreatic, gingival and systemic levels were also lower in animals fed on virgin olive oil compared to those treated with sunflower or fish oil. Finally, although the animals died from similar causes regardless of the experimental group, virgin olive oil increased lifespan compared to sunflower oil. Therefore, it is evidenced the chance to modulate the effects of the physiological aging process by diet and, more specifically, by dietary fat.