Extra Virgin Olive Oil Improves Health Outcomes for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Biologically active compounds in EVOO decrease oxidative stress and improve functional capacity in fibromyalgia sufferers.

Sep. 8, 2016
By Jedha Dening

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic dis­ease syn­drome that causes wide­spread mus­cu­loskele­tal pain for suf­fer­ers. The pain can be so debil­i­tat­ing that it can imposes phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and social lim­i­ta­tions that decrease qual­ity of life. The over­all preva­lence of fibromyal­gia is 1.2 to 5.4 per­cent, with women suf­fer­ing with the con­di­tion more than men.

Its onset and causes are not fully under­stood. Various research stud­ies have tried to inves­ti­gate the con­di­tion and have found the cause to be many fac­tors includ­ing impaired hor­mone func­tion, altered neu­ro­trans­mit­ters, increased inflam­ma­tion, and oxida­tive stress, which arises as a leader.
See more: Olive Oil Health Benefits
Extra vir­gin olive oil (EVOO) is a nat­ural antiox­i­dant that has been shown to play a role in down­reg­u­lat­ing oxida­tive stress in var­i­ous stud­ies. Previous research has shown that antiox­i­dant rich sup­ple­ments and foods have decreased pain in fibromyal­gia suf­fer­ers.

Until now, there have been no stud­ies exam­in­ing the effects of EVOO on fibromyal­gia out­comes. For the first time ever, a study pub­lished in Biological Research for Nursing, aimed to inves­ti­gate if EVOO could con­tribute ben­e­fits on oxida­tive stress mark­ers and health para­me­ters in 23 women par­tic­i­pants suf­fer­ing from fibromyal­gia.

Participants were enrolled in a 3 week ran­dom­ized, con­trolled, dou­ble-blind trial. The inter­ven­tion included the con­sump­tion of EVOO or refined olive oil (ROO), each group con­sum­ing 50 ml/ day of raw oil. The organic olive oil sam­ples were both from Olifarma S.L., Granada, Spain and con­sisted of dif­fer­ent antiox­i­dant con­tent.

Participants were required to com­plete a series of 24-hour food recalls. Estimates of olive oil con­sump­tion, along with macro and micronu­tri­ent quan­ti­ties were cal­cu­lated from the aver­age of 3 days of food recall data. Based on base­line results, par­tic­i­pants were given nutri­tional instruc­tion for improv­ing their diet and sup­plied with olive oil sam­ples.

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Along with dietary data, par­tic­i­pants were also required to undergo inter­views and ques­tion­naires about their phys­i­cal and men­tal sta­tus and func­tional capac­ity in activ­i­ties of daily liv­ing, along with hav­ing blood sam­ples col­lected to mea­sure var­i­ous oxida­tive para­me­ters.

The results showed that the EVOO group sig­nif­i­cantly reduced oxida­tive stress mark­ers, had a greater reduc­tion in lev­els of pro­tein car­bonyls, and decreased lipid per­ox­i­da­tion lev­els, whereas the ROO group showed no such effects. However, as far as the antiox­ida­tive pro­file, there was no dif­fer­ence between the two groups for enzy­matic activ­ity. Though zinc lev­els did increase in both groups.

The EVOO group showed sig­nif­i­cant changes in rela­tion to health-related para­me­ters, where the ROO group showed no effect on these out­comes and even showed a wors­en­ing of scores in rela­tion to some val­ues.

The authors con­cluded that for the first time, it had been revealed that EVOO may pro­tect patients against fibromyal­gia-induced oxida­tive stress by dimin­ish­ing pro­tein, lipid, and DNA oxi­da­tion and rais­ing zinc lev­els as well as improve func­tional capac­ity and health-related psy­cho­log­i­cal sta­tus.”

They stated, our data reveal that con­sump­tion of organic EVOO may improve oxida­tive stress in patients with FM, sug­gest­ing that its con­sump­tion con­tributes to the dietary intake of bio­log­i­cally active com­pounds.”

The authors spec­u­lated that these effects are likely due to phe­no­lic com­pounds oleu­ropein and hydrox­y­ty­rosol but sug­gest that fur­ther research is needed to con­firm these results and estab­lish con­tribut­ing mech­a­nisms to these effects.



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