A taste for olive oil could provide insight into its anti-inflammatory properties

October 8, 2012, Deakin University

(Medical Xpress)—Deakin University researchers are investigating the anti-inflammatory properties of virgin olive oil to see if it as the potential to protect against the inflammation involved in muscle wasting conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

The target of their research is oleocanthal, a compound found in which has a similar anti-inflammatory action as ibuprofen.

"It has been found that 25-50ml of provides around 10 per cent of the anti-inflammatory effect of one dose of ibuprofen," explained Lisa Lucas, a Deakin School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences PhD student working on the project.

"The Mediterranean population consume this quantity of virgin olive oil as part of their everyday diet and have a low risk of , such as , therefore long term low doses of virgin olive oil may have a protective effect on inflammatory disease due in part to the effects of oleocanthal," Ms Lucas said.

"Some anti-inflammatory drugs may have an adverse effect on the process of muscle maintenance which is of particular concern for older people needing to take this medication, as reductions in muscle can result in an increased risk of falls and fractures.

"While not suggesting that virgin olive oil is a substitute for taking ibuprofen we may just find that a daily dose of olive oil over a long period of time could reduce the need to take these medications on a regular basis."

The initial focus of Ms Lucas's study is to test if there is a connection between a person's sensitivity to the throat irritation caused by oleocanthal and the effect it has on muscle cells.

"Oleocanthal has a peppery bite to it, so I am looking for 300 people to take part in a taste test so that I can measure their levels of sensitivity to this sensation," Ms Lucas said.

"Those found to be highly sensitive and highly insensitive to the taste of oleocanthal will be invited to take part in the next phase of the study that will look at the effect this natural anti-inflammatory has on their ."

The Deakin researchers are calling for people, and their taste buds, to take part in the study of the anti-inflammatory properties of .

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Research team diagnoses asthma with nasal brush test

June 11, 2018
Mount Sinai researchers have identified a genetic biomarker of asthma that can be tested for using a simple nasal brush and basic follow-up data analysis. This inexpensive diagnostic test can accurately identify mild to moderate ...

Eosinophilic esophagitis may be due to missing protein

June 7, 2018
Scientists have discovered that the absence of a specific protein in cells lining the esophagus may cause inflammation and tissue damage in people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). EoE affects as many as 150,000 people ...

Mouse study links triclosan, a common antimicrobial, to colonic inflammation

May 30, 2018
A large research team led by senior author Guodong Zhang at the University of Massachusetts Amherst reports that the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan, found in hand soaps and toothpastes among other products, could have ...

Body knows best: A natural healing mechanism for inflammatory bowel disease

May 30, 2018
Treating inflammatory diseases of the bowel is extremely challenging: Genes, gut microbes and disrupted immune function all contribute. Weizmann Institute of Science researchers are proposing a way around this complexity. ...

Chance discovery links inflammatory bowel disease with common bacterial gut toxin

May 17, 2018
New research has uncovered a surprise link between a common bacterial toxin found in the gut and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

New cytokine network can repair tissue damage in the intestine, study finds

May 16, 2018
A new group of proteins called cytokines, critical for antimicrobial activity and repairing the damaged intestinal tissue found in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has been discovered by researchers in a study led by Georgia ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.