Olive oil protects liver

Oct 29, 2010

Extra-virgin olive oil can protect the liver from oxidative stress. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism exposed rats to a moderately toxic herbicide known to deplete antioxidants and cause oxidative stress, finding that those rats fed on a diet containing the olive oil were partially protected from the resulting liver damage.

Mohamed Hammami from the University of Monastir, Tunisia and King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the experiments in a group of 80 rats. He said, "Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the . There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses. Here, we've shown that extra and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue".

The researchers separated the rats into a control group, an olive oil group, and 6 groups that were exposed to the herbicide '2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid' with or without either whole olive oil, or one of two oil extracts – the hydrophilic fraction or the lipophilic fraction. All rats given the herbicide showed signs of significant . However, extra virgin olive oil and hydrophilic fraction intake induced a significant increase in antioxidant enzyme activity and a decrease in markers of liver damage.

Speaking about the results, Hammami said, "The hydrophilic fraction of olive oil seems to be the effective one in reducing toxin-induced oxidative stress, indicating that hydrophilic extract may exert a direct antioxidant effect on hepatic cells. However, more detailed studies about the effect of antioxidant compounds separately and/or their interactions are necessary to substantiate these observations".

Explore further: Here's to wine, chocolate and a long, healthy life

More information: Effects of olive oil and its fractions on oxidative stress and the liver's fatty acid composition in 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid- treated rats, Amel Nakbi, Wafa Tayeb, Abir Grissa, Manel Issaoui, Samia Dabbou, Issam Chargui, Meriem Ellouz, Abdelhedi Miled and Mohamed Hammami, Nutrition & Metabolism (in press), www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/

Related Stories

Source of major health benefits in olive oil revealed

Apr 02, 2009

Scientists have pinned down the constituent of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke. In a study of the major antioxidants in olive oil, Portuguese researchers showed that one, DHPEA-EDA, protects ...

New anti-cancer components of extra-virgin olive oil revealed

Dec 18, 2008

Good quality extra-virgin olive oil contains health-relevant chemicals, 'phytochemicals', that can trigger cancer cell death. New research published in the open access journal BMC Cancer sheds more light on the suspected associ ...

New Year's resolution No. 1: Prevent cancer, use olive oil.

Dec 11, 2006

If you want to avoid developing cancer, then you might want to add eating more olive oil to your list of New Year's resolutions. In a study to be published in the January 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists from five ...

Recommended for you

Here's to wine, chocolate and a long, healthy life

37 minutes ago

Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, remains the oldest person on record. One might assume that she led a faultless, healthy lifestyle. Not at all. Every year on her birthday, as her celebri ...

Experts discuss communications gap on vaccines

1 hour ago

The number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is on the rise, and with it the incidence of preventable diseases such as measles. The health community could reverse the trend by doing a better ...

Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?

14 hours ago

Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their fitness and health goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring ...

User comments : 0