(Ivanhoe Newswire) — People who eat a diet rich in oleic acid, which is found in olive oil and peanut oil as well as butter are less likely to develop ulcers, according to new research.

Researchers at University of East Anglia (UEA) School of Medicine in Norfolk, UK studied more than 25,000 people aged 40-65 between 1993 and 1997.

When researchers looked further into the participants’ diet they found that those with the highest intake of oleic acid had a 90 percent lower risk of developing ulcerative colitis.

“Oleic acid seems to help prevent the development of ulcerative colitis by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate the inflammation found in this illness,” Dr. Andrew Hart with UEA’s School of Medicine was quoted as saying.

Researchers say that half of the cases of ulcerative colitis could have been prevented if larger intakes of oleic acid were consumed.

“Two to three tablespoons of olive oil per day would have a protective effect,” said Dr. Hart.

SOURCE: Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans, April 29, 2010

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