Findings published in the latest issue of Nature report that olive oil, specifically freshly pressed extra-virgin olive oil, may have pain-relieving properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. The compound responsible for the pain-killing properties in olive oil, known as oleocanthal, blocks the same pain pathway as ibuprofen. According to researchers, oleocanthal and ibuprofen both produce a strong stinging sensation in the throat, an indication of its pharmacological activity.
Researchers speculate that a 50-gram daily dose of olive oil (about 3.7 tablespoons providing 50 grams of fat and 442 calories!!) is equivalent to about 10 percent of the ibuprofen dose recommended for pain relief for an adult.
But even consuming a little olive oil regularly in cooking and salad dressings might also have some of the long-term health benefits of ibuprofen. Researchers now believe that inflammation plays an important role in a variety of chronic diseases such as stroke, heart disease and some cancers. This finding may also explain the health benefits long attributed to the olive-oil rich Mediterranean diet.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.