Most people have heard that olive oil is good for human health, and many see it as a key reason that cultures that eat a “Mediterranean diet” have better health than most other cultures. A new study has just made these beliefs a little less speculative, and a little more factual.
The study was led by Mohamed Hammami from the University of Monastir, Tunisia and King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a team of researchers. The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. “Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses. Here, we’ve shown that extra virgin olive oil and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue,” explained Mr. Hammami. In conclusion, Hammami stated, “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.”