Background and Objective: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 are
important mediators of chronic low-grade systemic inflammation. The latter plays a central role in
several obesity-related pathologies, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.
Besides, these cytokines have been also implicated in geriatric and cancer-induced anorexia, cachexia,
sarcopenia and frailty. Potential interventions for both obesity and frailty include dietary advice and
nutraceuticals. In this context, the consumption of olive oil (OO) has been associated with the health
effects of the Mediterranean diet (Med-diet). This review is aimed to discuss the OO-mediated modulation
of TNF- α and IL-6 in human studies and the potential implication in obesity and frailty.
Results: The reviewed studies suggest that the improvement of postprandial TNF-α and IL-6 observed
with OO consumption is affected by body mass index (BMI). The effects on TNF-α and IL-6 after
medium and long-term consumptions involved many factors and the cross-talk between adipose tissue,
liver, skeletal muscle and brain. Major anti-inflammatory effects were observed when OO was consumed
with Med-diet, which is associated with healthy behaviors. In this context, the role of microbioma-
polyphenols, diet-gene and exercise-gene interactions in the effects of OO on immune-mediated
inflammatory responses involved in obesity and frailty deserves further investigation.
Conclusion: Further studies are needed to clarify the effect of OO net of possible synergistic effects
with other dietary and lifestyle factors of Mediterranean area.