Tags: Olive | Oil | Good | Ibuprofen?

Olive Oil Good as Ibuprofen?

Friday, 08 June 2007 12:00 AM

Researchers have found that a chemical in extra-virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties similar to those found in ibuprofen. Even though the chemical called oleocanthal has a different chemistry from the pain killer, its non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory effects are comparable to ibuprofen.

The discovery was made by Dr. Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia when he tasted freshly pressed olive oil and realized the particular burning sensation he felt at the back of his throat was the same bitterness and burning he felt when testing liquid ibuprofen in cold medicines.

"The moment I felt that burn, I saw the whole picture in my head," he told the New York Times. "There's a natural analogue of ibuprofen in olive oil, and it could have anti-inflammatory properties, too."

Dr. Beauchamp found that the bitter substance in olive oil was a phenolic chemical which he and his fellow researchers named oleocanthal. Phenols are natural antioxidants which help keep the oil from becoming rancid.

Research showed that oleocanthal is even better than ibuprofen at hindering enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Although the aromas and flavors of virgin olive oils vary from delicate and fleeting to bitter and peppery, the cough-provoking varieties have the most oleocanthal and thus carry the most powerful medicinal punch.

Researchers speculate that the oleocanthal in olive oils may be one reason that Mediterranean diets are so healthy.

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Researchers have found that a chemical in extra-virgin olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties similar to those found in ibuprofen. Even though the chemical called oleocanthal has a different chemistry from the pain killer, its non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory effects...
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2007-00-08
Friday, 08 June 2007 12:00 AM
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