Active-Italia: Oleocanthal from Olea europaea

Oleocanthal from Olea europaea

Cat: , , , , , , , , ,
The Virgin Olive Oil phenolic compounds include about 30 molecules from different chemical classes: phenolic alcohols, such as hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, phenolic acids (e.g., caffeic and vanillic), flavones (luteolin and apigenin), lignans, and secoiridoids. The latter group represents the largest fraction. The principal ones are the aglycon forms of oleuropein and ligstroside, the dialdehydic forms of their decarboxymethylated derivatives, known as oleacein and oleocanthal. A protective role against cardiovascular, metabolic diseases, and human cancer has been attributed to hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal, and oleacein -

In 1993 oleocanthal was first isolated from Extra Virgin Olive Oil along with other secoiridoids by Montedoro and colleagues. Subsequently, Beauchamp and coworkers demonstrated the antiinflammatory activity of oleocanthal in 2005.

“It is about a fortuitous discovery that occurred in the United States. In 1999 the American scientist Gary Beauchamp ( considered one of the world’s leading experts on chemosensory science) attended a world meeting on the island of Sicily accompanying other scientists to an organo – sensory conference on molecular nutrition organized by the marriage of physicists Massimo Ugo Palma and his wife Marie Beatrice Voltarelli.

In the course of the meeting, the couple invited a meal at their home on the island of Erice in which, among other things, extra virgin olive oil was served. Dr. Gary Beauchamp expert in organolepsy had no history of having tested the aforementioned oil in his life. He drank several sips and realized that it had a special flavor, when it was drunk, there was an itch in the backpacking that not all olive oils have. He repeated the operation and could see that it had the same taste as a syrup they were experiencing in his laboratory at the University of Philadelphia. Upon returning to the United States, they were able to confirm that the typical taste similar to ibuprofen came from a molecule that they later named Oleocanthal (Beauchamp and Cols, they called it OLEOCANTHAL, by the word «OLEO» Oil, CANTH from «ACANTHOS» Itching and AL of Aldehido).

The team of Professor Gary Beauchamp discovered something else, the substance was a powerful anti-inflammatory, four tablespoons of this oil rich in Oleocanthal, was the equivalent to approximately 250 mg of ibuprofen in vitro.”

Other chemical names of oleocanthal include decarboxymethyl ligstroside aglycone, dialdehydic form of deacetoxy-ligstroside aglycone, deacetoxy-dialdehydic ligstroside aglycone, and p-hydroxyphenylethanol-elenolic acid dialdehyde (p-HPEA-EDA). Naturally existing oleocanthal is presented in the S-configuration of chiral carbon, while synthetic oleocanthal is presented in the R-configuration.

Oleocanthal has several biological activities. Oleocanthal exerts antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and neuroprotective pharmacologic activities. Despite structural dissimilarity, oleocanthal showed similar antiinflammatory properties to ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug.

Italy, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, the United States, and France were the pioneer countries to research on olive phenolic content. According to the literature searches, four olive biophenols, including tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal, were the most studied olive oil biophenols. Unfortunately, studies on the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of oleocanthal are still limited today.


Umberto Berti, PM Active-Italia

Linked Article

Hydroxytyrosyl: Antioxidant and Skin Regenerative Properties
Since olive oil is used in the preparation of many cosmetic formulations, we explored the antioxidant capacity of HtyOle in human keratinocytes.. . .
find out more
Health-promoting properties of oleocanthal and oleacein: Two secoiridoids from . . .
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) polyphenols, including the secoiridoids oleocanthal (OLC) and oleacein (OLE), are attracting attention because of their. . .
find out more
Mediterranean Diet in Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases
Most, but not all, epidemiologic studies report a protective association between MD adherence, cognitive impairment, and brain health. Data from. . .
find out more
Oleocanthal Inhibits Catabolic and Inflammatory Mediators in LPS-Activated Human . . .
Oleocanthal, a phenolic compound present in extra virgin olive oil, has attracted attention since its discovery for its relevant pharmacological. . .
find out more
Oleocanthal is toxic to many cancer cells and causes rapid and extreme loss of . . .
Transient exposure of cancer cells to oleocanthal for one hour resulted in the loss of cell viability after 24 hours.
find out more
Oleocanthal as a Dual c-MET-COX2 Inhibitor for the Control of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer (LC) represents the topmost mortality-causing cancer in the U.S. LC patients have overall poor survival rate with limited available. . .
find out more
Extra virgin olive oil rich in polyphenols modulates VEGF-induced angiogenic . . .
Previous studies have shown the antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antiangiogenic properties by pure olive oil polyphenols; however, the effects of. . .
find out more
Antioxidant effects of an olive oil total polyphenolic fraction from a Greek . . .
Numerous studies have been carried out concerning the advantageous health effects, especially the antioxidant effects, of olive oil’s (OO) individual. . .
find out more



  • The info presented in this post should not replace professional medical or dietary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
  • Always consult your registered dietitian or physician before making any significant dietary or exercise changes.
  • Don’t ignore professional medical advice due to the info presented here.
  • Active-Italia products are intended for laboratory use only and are not for consumer use.

Related posts

Get Insights on Developments in Biomedical Research

There’s an ocean of publications in biomedical research. We want to help you navigate through them, by bringing you relevant information suited to your professional needs and interests.