Olive oil is known for a number of its unique health benefits to the human body. It is effective not only in fighting against infections but even against breast cancer cells. Moreover, a recent study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, revealed that olive oil can protect your liver health from the negative effects of oxidative stress, associated with a large number of health problems that are also considered to accelerate the aging process.
Olive oil benefits the liver health
Dr. Mohamed Hammami from the University of Monastir in Tunisia and King Saud University in Riyadth, Saudi Arabia, conducted a study with 80 laboratory rats. The animals were exposed to a slightly toxic herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyecetic acid (2,4-D) which is famous for causing oxidative stress resulting in consuming antioxidants.
Dr. Hammami divided the rats into different groups. The first group was receiving usual nutrition, the second group was receiving foods enriched with extra virgin olive oil, the third group was eating meals with hydrophilic olive oil extract and the fourth was given animal feed containing lipophilic olive oil extract.
Each of the rats demonstrated some serious liver disease symptoms before the experiment. However, in those rats fed with extra virgin olive oil and hydrophilic olive oil extract, a significant boost in the antioxidant activity of the enzymes was recorded. Furthermore, a dramatic decrease in liver disease symptoms was observed in these groups of rats.
Olive oil for the healthy diet
As Dr. Hammami explained in the press release of the study, extra virgin olive oil, as well as the hydrophilic olive oil extract, are very effective nutrition components of a healthy diet. These reduce the oxidative stress arising from the exposure to toxins and thereby ensure direct antioxidant protection of the liver cells.
“Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses”, explained Dr. Hammami in his publication, “The results of the study showed that extra virgin olive oil and its extracts support liver health and protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissues”.
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