In an original article by Vicki Prior, writing for Olive Oil Times, she noted several sources and conclusions related to Extra Virgin Olive Oil and its ability to decrease joint inflammation caused by arthritis. The following is a summary of key points.
- A study from the Cochrane Collaboration in 2009 found that olive oil and the Mediterranean diet may reduce arthritic pain.
- As detailed in a recent article in British newspaper, Sunday Express, olive oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, also found in oily fish such as tuna and salmon. Omega-3 works as an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce swelling and pain in arthritic joints.
- Sunflower oil contains Omega-6 fatty acids. While small quantities of Omega-6 are not harmful and should be ingested as part of a balanced diet, Omega-6s are known to cause inflammation, thereby worsening arthritic swelling and pain.
- The Arthritis Foundation suggests consuming 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil daily. Alongside Omega-3, olive oil also contains oleocanthal, a natural compound which works in a similar way to NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs), by reducing the effect of enzymes that cause inflammation, without the side effects of NSAIDS.
- Oleocanthal, a Polyphenol, was discovered to reduce inflammation in a 2005 study. It found that extra virgin olive oil contains the same enzymes as drugs like ibuprofen. Dr. A study by Gary Beauchamp found that the more astringent the olive oil, the more oleocanthal it is likely to contain. When sipped, the oil should cause a burning sensation in the throat. High Polyphenol Extra Virgin Olive Oil will exhibit these properties.
- Followers of an olive oil-based, Mediterranean diet have been found to lose weight, which eases tension on arthritic joints. There is also a decreased risk of heart problems and serious diseases such as cancer.