A Mixture of Algae and Extra Virgin Olive Oils Attenuates the Cardiometabolic Alterations Associated with Aging in Male Wistar Rats

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Aging is one of the major risk factors for suffering cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Due to the increase in life expectancy, there is a strong interest in the search for anti-aging strategies to treat and prevent these aging-induced disorders. Both omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) exert numerous metabolic and cardiovascular benefits in the elderly. In addition, EVOO constitutes an interesting ingredient to stabilize ω-3 PUFA and decrease their oxidation process due to its high content in antioxidant compounds. ω-3 PUFA are commonly obtained from fish. However, more ecological and sustainable sources, such as algae oil (AO) can also be used. In this study, we aimed to study the possible beneficial effect of an oil mixture composed by EVOO (75%) and AO (25%) rich in ω-3 PUFA (35% docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 20% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) on the cardiometabolic alterations associated with aging. For this purpose; young (three months old) and old (24 months old) male Wistar rats were treated with vehicle or with the oil mixture (2.5 mL/kg) for 21 days. Treatment with the oil mixture prevented the aging-induced increase in the serum levels of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and the aging-induced decrease in the serum concentrations of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Old treated rats showed increased serum concentrations of EPA and DHA and decreased HOMA-IR index and circulating levels of total cholesterol, insulin and IL-6. Treatment with the oil mixture increased the mRNA levels of antioxidant and insulin sensitivity-related enzymes, as well as reduced the gene expression of pro-inflammatory markers in the liver and in cardiac and aortic tissues. In addition, the treatment also prevented the aging-induced endothelial dysfunction and vascular insulin resistance through activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Moreover, aortic rings from old rats treated with the oil mixture showed a decreased response to the vasoconstrictor AngII. In conclusion, treatment with a mixture of EVOO and AO improves the lipid profile, insulin sensitivity and vascular function in aged rats and decreases aging-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in the liver, and in the cardiovascular system. Thus, it could be an interesting strategy to deal with cardiometabolic alterations associated with aging.