Consuming lignan-rich olive oil could reverse the effects of some food fungal toxins, according to a newly published study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The over-consumption of these toxins can lead to nervous system symptoms and motor system dysfunctions such as tremors and seizures.
We believe lignan-rich olive oil can protect the sciatic and peripheral nervous system against the insult caused by potassium channels-targeting fungal toxins.
The research was carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Louisiana – Monroe, to address concerns about the possibility of food storage causing microbial growth that is known to produce toxins (mycotoxins), which can adversely affect the health of humans and livestock.
Mycotoxins (which are produced by the undesired growth of fungi) contaminate food and can even be toxic to the human nervous system in very small doses. An accumulation of mycotoxins over time can result in health hazards.See Also: Health News
These risks could be reduced by the consumption of phenolic-rich olive oil, which can protect against potential food microbial contaminants that damage the nervous system.
“We believe lignan-rich olive oil can protect the sciatic and peripheral nervous system against the insult caused by potassium channels-targeting fungal toxins and therefore can be used to make human and livestock food additives to provide added protection and increase food safety,” study co-author Khaled El Sayed told Olive Oil Times.
The mycotoxin, Penitrem A, which can contaminate both human and animal food, is one of the most common contaminants to which humans are vulnerable. Penitrem A was confirmed as a common food contaminant after being detected in non-moldy bread samples, which had been stored and refrigerated for three days.
Other mycotoxins include lolitrems and ergovaline which are produced in pasture grasses. These are toxic to grazing animals and can lead to the livestock disease Fescue toxicosis, which costs the global beef industry more than a billion dollars annually.
The study’s authors believe olive oil could become a food additive ingredient for improving food safety and increasing protection for both humans and livestock.
El Sayed, who has long been an advocate of the health benefits of olive oil, secured funding from the National Cancer Institute earlier this year for developing oleocanthal as a cancer prevention tool.
In 2017, he led a study which concluded that a compound found in extra virgin olive oil was effective in preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease in mice.