`Olive Oil Compound May Decrease Intestinal Damage in Cases of Ischemia - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Compound May Decrease Intestinal Damage in Cases of Ischemia

Feb. 10, 2013
Naomi Tupper

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According to new research pub­lished in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, olive oil may have yet another bio­log­i­cal ben­e­fit in the treat­ment of dis­ease. This time it appears that there is a role for olive oil derived com­pounds in the pre­ven­tion of intesti­nal ischemia and reper­fu­sion asso­ci­ated organ dam­age.

The study, which was car­ried out in ani­mal mod­els, sug­gested that the olive oil com­po­nent oleu­ropein agly­cone, which is an impor­tant polyphe­nol, could sig­nif­i­cantly reduce dam­age caused by intesti­nal ischemia. This con­di­tion, which occurs in humans due to nar­row­ing or block­age of blood ves­sels that sup­ply the diges­tive sys­tem, results in restricted blood sup­ply to the organs. The con­di­tion can be incred­i­bly painful and in the long term cause prob­lems such as mal­nu­tri­tion, severe weight loss and per­ma­nent intesti­nal dam­age. Not only does the con­di­tion cause dam­age in its own right, but the result­ing reper­fu­sion injury, which takes place when blood sup­ply is returned to the organ, can also cause a vast amount of tis­sue dam­age.

In lab­o­ra­tory con­di­tions, mice were used to test the effec­tive­ness of oleu­ropein agly­cone in treat­ing intesti­nal ischemia/reperfusion injury. Groups of mice were sub­jected to sur­gi­cally induced intesti­nal ischemia, with one group treated with the olive oil derived com­pound after induc­tion. It was found that mice treated with oleu­ropein agly­cone had lower lev­els of intesti­nal injury and inflam­ma­tion than those who did not receive the treat­ment but which were also sub­jected to pro­ce­dures to cause intesti­nal ischemia. The results sug­gest that the com­pound plays a part in pre­vent­ing sec­ondary organ injury caused by the con­di­tion.

While fur­ther research is needed into whether this treat­ment is suit­able for humans with intesti­nal ischemia, which may be caused by a vari­ety of con­di­tions such as fatty build ups in the blood ves­sels or blood clots, it shows promise for the sub­stance in the use of treat­ing inflam­ma­tion asso­ci­ated dis­ease. It is hoped that even­tu­ally this type of ther­apy could lead to ben­e­fits for patients with spinal cord injury and arthri­tis as well as intesti­nal ischemia and reper­fu­sion.

Extra vir­gin olive oil is well known for its high con­tent of phe­no­lic com­pounds that have potent anti-inflam­ma­tory, anti-micro­bial and antiox­i­dant effects. Previous human and ani­mal based stud­ies have shown promis­ing results for a num­ber of these com­pounds in the treat­ment of var­i­ous dis­eases and con­di­tions asso­ci­ated with inflam­ma­tion, in par­tic­u­lar the com­pound oleo­can­thal, which is thought to have sim­i­lar anti-inflam­ma­tory prop­er­ties to ibupro­fen.


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