The following paper summarizes the current literature on oleocanthal, in terms of its sensory and pharmacological properties, and also discusses the beneficial, health promoting activities of oleocanthal, in the context of the molecular mechanisms within various models of disease.
The health promoting attributes associated with following a traditional Mediterranean diet have been recognised for decades, with the first suggestion of healthful effects accompanying the Seven Countries Study. The risk of chronic inflammatory disease in Mediterranean populations are the lowest in the world, and life expectancy amongst the highest which has earned the populations residing along the Mediterranean sea considerable attention from nutrition researchers worldwide. Since the inaugural Seven Countries Study numerous other studies have supported the view that this pattern of eating is associated with a reduced incidence of inflammatory disease states. […]
The results of the study clearly show that oleocanthal inhibits cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (COX 1 & 2) enzymes in a dose-dependent manner, and does in fact mimic the anti-inflammatory action of the synthetic NSAID ibuprofen. The important and novel findings of Beauchamp and colleagues demonstrate that oleocanthal not only mimics the mode of ibuprofen inflammatory activity, but inhibits COX 1 and COX 2 enzymes significantly more at equimolar concentrations. For example, oleocanthal (25 µM) inhibits 41%–57% of COX activity in comparison to ibuprofen (25 µM) which inhibits 13%–18% of COX activity. This adds further weight to oleocanthal as a potential factor in the health benefits associated with a traditional Mediterranean Diet. Assuming approximately 70% absorption, then 50 mL/day corresponds to approximately 10% the current Ibuprofen pain relieving dose. This estimate differs according to oleocanthal concentrations in VOO. […]
A recent cross sectional Australian study concluded that those suffering neurodegenerative disease showed a significantly lower adherence to a Mediterranean style dietary pattern, and there is a plethora of evidence research showing up to a 40% decrease in Alzheimer’s disease in populations consuming a Mediterranean style diet. Perhaps oleocanthal, in conjunction with other phenolics, exerts a neuro-therapeutic potential that is reflected in the low incidence of neurodegenerative disease in populations that regularly consume the oil. […]