Hydroxytyrosol can be useful for smokers and passive smokers

Tobacco results in morphological and biochemical disturbances in the endothelium, possibly caused by free radicals in cigarette smoke (“Cigarette smoking, endothelial injury and cardiovascular disease”; R, Michael Pittil; International Journal of Experimental Pathology 2000).

In people with respiratory problems the vascular endothelium actively participates in inflammatory reactions. Tobacco is a determining factor in bronchopulmonary problems. Contaminants such as benzopyrene, peroxides and others can cause direct damage to endothelial cells due to the expression of adhesion molecules on their surface and the intensification of lipid peroxidation.

In turn, the oxidized lipoproteins in the tunica intima of the vessel function as attractants for the chemotaxis of leukocytes and monocytes that begin to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines in large quantities. These processes trigger a systemic inflammatory response that leads to irreversible thickening of the vessel walls and deterioration of their mechanical properties.

Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke and its combustion products leads to a chronic inflammatory reaction of the system, oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and morpho-functional damage of the target organs. Today, the connection between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and some cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies has been well established (“Smoking, respiratory diseases and endothelial dysfunction”; Vera Nevzorova et al.; Intechopen 2018).

In 2000 a study published by Circulating concluded that a low dosage of hydroxytyrosol reduces the consequences of sidestream smoke–induced oxidative stress in rats (“Olive phenol hydroxytyrosol prevents passive smoking-induced oxidative stress”; F Visioli et al.; 2000 Circulation)

Cigarette smoke induces oxidative stress, as reflected by increased circulating levels and urinary excretion of F2-isoprostanes. It is noteworthy that passive smoking also increases the risk of heart disease and that experimental evidence indicates that it significantly impairs endothelial function and accelerates atherosclerosis in animals.

It is conceivable that some of the noxious effects of second-hand smoke are due to an enhanced cellular exposure to reactive oxygen species, leading to the formation of lipid peroxidation products, such as isoprostanes.

Hydroxytyrosol is a natural molecule with an orto-diphenolic structure that makes it unique for its strong free radical scavenger properties. Smokers, ex-smokers and people living together with smokers should bear in mind that they are exposed to oxidative damage and it would be a clever decision the ingestion of natural antioxidants.

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