A phenomenal, naturally occurring compound in Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is an amazing anti-inflammatory.
I’m often asked why top quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil can prickle the back of your throat. It’s because of a naturally occurring compound called Oleocanthal. EVOO is the only cooking oil containing Oleocanthal and it has been shown to act as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) agent. Because of this, consumption of oleocanthal in your diet has been shown to reduce general inflammation in the body. That’s good news for all of us.
The quantity suggested in order to see the benefits is around 3-4 tablespoons per day (equivalent to a low dose of ibuprofen). This is perhaps more EVOO than you would think of consuming – you may need to work it in to a few more dishes… put it on your toast in the morning with avocado or tomato, put it over your soup or salad at lunch and integrate it where ever possible in to your dinner. But the benefits of taking something totally natural are of course huge.
Oleocanthal has also been shown to benefit arthritic pain and degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) as well as slowing its onset. It is also a compound of interest in cancer research due to its ability to inhibit the initiation of metastases of several cancer types. It’s still early stages from everything I’ve read but I’m sure anyone who has lived the horror of cancer would welcome news of anything that might help.
For a more in depth understanding, this article is pretty good: https://olivewellnessinstitute.org/article/oleocanthal-a-phenolic-compound-with-anti-inflammatory-action/
The concentration of oleocanthal varies from one Extra Virgin Olive Oil to another. The highest values occur in oil where the olives are harvested early. Certain cultivars also have higher concentrations naturally. Coratina, Nocellara del Belice and Moraiolo all have particularly high values.
We’ve put together a box of oils with high polyphenol values for anyone interested in the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil