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: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

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

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

11 hours ago

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

11 hours ago

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

19 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...