Effect of the co-occurring components from olive oil and thyme extracts on the antioxidant status and its bioavailability in an acute ingestion in rats†
The aim of this work was to examine whether bioactives in thyme could enhance the antioxidant capacity of phenolics in virgin olive oil and their bioavailability in Wistar rats. After acute oral administration of extracts from olive cake (OE), thyme (TE) or their combination (OTE), blood samples were collected from 0 to 360 min. Plasma antioxidant status was analyzed by DPPH and FRAP in plasma and by SOD, CAT and GPx activities in erythrocytes. Plasma pharmacokinetics of the main metabolites of bioactives in olive oil and thyme were characterized. Plasma non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity was significantly modulated by OE, TE, and OTE in a time-, assay, and extract-dependent manner. OE, TE, and OTE all significantly decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity and catalase (CAT) activity was increased. Pharmacokinetic results showed that plasma concentration (Cmax) of the main olive phenolic metabolites in rats fed with OTE were similar to those of OE. These results indicate that an enhanced bioavailability of olive phenolic compounds could occur in the presence of thyme, although any synergistic effect was observed in the antioxidant status when both phenolic extracts were administered. Antioxidant protection by phenolics from olive and thyme against oxidative stress occurs primarily through a direct antioxidant effect and may be related to the phenolic plasmatic metabolites.