Olive oil could guard against developing ulcerative colitis

May 2, 2010

Eating more olive oil could help prevent ulcerative colitis, according to a new study co-ordinated by medical researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Presented today at the Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans, the findings show that people with a diet rich in oleic acid - which is present in -are far less likely to develop ulcerative colitis. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil, peanut oil and grapeseed oil, as well as in butter and certain margarines.

The researchers, led by Dr Andrew Hart of UEA's School of Medicine, studied more than 25,000 people aged 40-65 living in Norfolk, UK. The volunteers were recruited to the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Diet and Cancer) between 1993 and 1997. The participants, none of whom had ulcerative colitis at the outset, completed detailed food diaries which were later analysed by specially trained nutritionists working in Cambridge.

By 2004, 22 participants in the study had developed ulcerative colitis and the researchers compared their diets with those who did not develop the disease. They found that those with the highest intake of oleic acid had a 90 per cent lower risk of developing the disease.

"Oleic acid seems to help prevent the development of ulcerative colitis by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate the found in this illness," said Dr Hart.

"We estimate that around half of the cases of ulcerative colitis could be prevented if larger amounts of oleic acid were consumed. Two-to-three tablespoons of olive oil per day would have a protective effect," said Dr Hart.

is a distressing disease affecting 120,000 people of all ages in the UK and 1 million in the US. It is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the colon or large bowel, which causes , and weight loss.

Similar work in other countries is now required to determine if these results are reproducible there, before the link can be said to be definite. If it is confirmed that oleic acid is truly protective, dietary modifications should be considered to prevent colitis. Additionally, the use of oleic acid supplements should also be assessed in the future as a possible treatment for colitis sufferers.

Explore further: Ulcerative colitis treatment reduces need for surgery by almost half

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1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2010
Oh yeah, we're supposed to believe results coming out of UEA? NOT!
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2010
yeah my thoughts exactly, just look at some of the climate garbage these guys spew out. I don't buy this either, I won't buy into anything these guys make up without evidence coming from many, many other institutions and private researchers.
3 / 5 (2) May 03, 2010
I see nothing in this physorg rendering of the 'research' that convincingly supports conclusions drawn.
They seem to find a correlation but 'correlations do not proof provide'
Asking people about their lives is the surest way to amass worthless data.
?"specially trained nutritionists" ?? You mean the usual, run of the mill type of nutritionist cant record how many olive-oiled salads were consumed? and as for the explanation given for its alleged 'mode of action', it's almost comical: Unless, perhaps, the 'specially trained' nutritionists also had training in biochemistry and gastroenterology, which would be unlikely.

5 / 5 (1) May 03, 2010
ADDENDUM to my :
I see nothing in this physorg rendering of the 'research' that convincingly supports conclusions drawn.
They seem to find a correlation but 'correlations do not proof provide'

I looked into UEA's net listings and find that the university itself is no 'minor player' in the UK. It has a Nobel Lauriat and is rated #8 in the nation. The Med School faculty includes people focusing on 'environmental' and 'holistic' issues as related to disease processes.
Dr. Andrew Hart (quoted in this physorg article) is a Senior Lecturer in Gastroenterology and a recognized researcher who has spoken in the U.S.A..

With those credentials, I must assume that he spoke 'off the cuff' and is far more likely to be thinking of other supportive evidence for his comments.

It's only right that I caution readers here not to conclude that I meant to disparage Dr. Hart or his workers. The informal nature of communications can lead to misunderstandings for which I apologize.
5 / 5 (1) May 03, 2010
UC runs in my family and it's known to be from peoples of the med. This makes since since most of their families always ate olives/oil. Then when they got away from olives/oils and their bodies were not made to work without it, seems very reasonable.

not rated yet May 04, 2010
Greece produces olives???.......

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