A new study has found that a compound from olive-pomace oil slows down the spread of HIV virus.
Researchers from the University of Granada and Hospital Carlos III in Madrid, established that maslinic acid, found in wax from olive skin, inhibits serin-protease, the enzyme used by HIV to discharge itself from the infected cell into the extra cellular environment and, subsequently, to spread the infection into the whole body.
These scientists, headed by Prof. Andres Garcia-Granados, senior lecturer in Organic Chemistry are firm that the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80% slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body.
Maslinic or crataegolic acid is a pentacyclic terpene with antioxidant and anticancer effects found in wax from olive skin, together with oleanolic acid. The effects of this compound in the battle against AIDS are concurrently being studied in the UGR and in Hospital Carlos III in Madrid by a team headed by Prof. Vallejo Najera.
Maslinic acid's novel properties shoot from its powerful protease-inhibition activity, allowing researchers from Granada to register two patents on behalf of the UGR to produce drugs for treatment of diseases caused by protozoa Cryptosporidium - a parasite causing small intestine infection and diarrhoea - and by HIV. The University of Granada has already registered almost ten other patents related to this compound's properties.
Maslinic acid is also a very active compound in opportunistic parasitic infections seriously affecting HIV patients.
Prof. Andres Garcia-Granados' team intends to continue working in the design and implementation of new maslinic acid by-products to fight against HIV, as well as in other innovative research projects.