02 September 2005

Make It Extra-Virgin, Please...

Perhaps you've already heard about the health benefits of olive oil, but this one you probably don't know yet...a new study says that extra-virgin olive oil possess the painkiller actions of ibuprofen, a well-known painkiller medication.
Dr Paul Breslin and his team at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia have discovered olive oil contains the compound oleocanthal which suppresses the same pain pathway as ibuprofen.

"Structurally, it's not similar but pharmacologically it's very similar," says Dr Breslin, whose findings are published in the journal Nature.

The researchers calculate that a 50g daily dose of olive oil is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the dose of ibuprofen recommended for adult pain relief. So although it won't cure a headache, regular consumption of olive oil could confer some of the long-term benefits of ibuprofen --- such as reduced cancer risk.

The researchers say this could help to explain some of the often-quoted benefits of a Mediterranean diet.

[ The Scotsman, Sept 01 2005 ]

The researchers stumbled upon this finding when one of them realized that fresh extra-virgin olive oil irritates the back of the throat in a unique way, which is similar to the sensation one gets when swallowing ibuprofen. They were able to isolate the compound responsible for olive oil's "throaty bite" which was somewhat exclusive to the premium types of olive oil --- the extra virgin varieties. They named it oleocanthal, "oleo" for olive and "canth" to mean 'sting' for the "throaty bite."

Want to know the difference between extra-virgin, virgin, and regular olive oil varieties? Click here.

5 reactions:

may said...

i've always wondered about the difference...extra virgin and virgin...thanks for the info.
also, thanks for sending other bloggers to my way, it is really appreciated.

thescrubsfamily said...

After this post, I think I will start using extra virgin oil. This is very interesting doc.

Dr. Emer said...

You're always welcome, May and Kuiipo. I'm happy to be of help. :)

JMom said...

I love using EVOO, I use it in practically everything. Good to know another health benefit associated with it :-)

bayi said...

I am used to olive oil but this is the first time I am aware of the specific benefits of EV. I'll use EV where I can.