Is Olive Oil The Next Ibuprofen?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/09/2024

It is becoming increasingly popular to discuss extra-virgin olive oil in health circles, and for good reason.

Learn more about extra-virgin olive oil and the benefits it can provide you, even providing pain relief.

The Power of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is not just a tasty addition to your meals, but it's also packed with health benefits. It contains a natural chemical compound called oleocanthal that works similarly to ibuprofen.

Understanding Oleocanthal

Oleocanthal, found in extra-virgin olive oil, has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory effects.

This remarkable compound inhibits the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes responsible for creating inflammation, similar to how over-the-counter pain relievers work.

Studies show that consuming 50 milligrams (just over an ounce) of this liquid can give you about nine milligrams of oleocanthal - enough to help soothe minor inflammations.

Daily Consumption for Optimal Absorption

You might ask, "How much should I consume daily?" To make sure you get the most out of extra-virgin olive oil's anti-inflammatory properties, aim for at least 50 milligrams per day.

That’s slightly more than one tablespoon. Don't fret if that seems like a lot - even modest amounts can still bring notable health advantages.

According to research, your body absorbs around 60% to 90% of this beneficial substance when consumed daily.

So go ahead and drizzle some on your salad or dip your almond bread into it. You're not only adding flavor but also helping reduce inflammation naturally.

Bottles of extra virgin olive oil

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil's Role in Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

The compounds found in extra-virgin olive oil have shown promise in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

These beneficial components, specifically the oleocanthal, may help reduce the formation of beta amyloids, which are proteins associated with this debilitating condition.

The Link Between Olive Oil and Beta Amyloids

Beta amyloids are sticky plaques that accumulate in the brain and disrupt communication between neurons, contributing to memory loss and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.

Extra-virgin olive oil contains health-promoting phenolic compounds like oleocanthal, which can interact with these harmful proteins.

Oleocanthal has been found to possess anti-inflammatory effects and provide defense against neurological degeneration.

Studies suggest that oleocanthal aids beta-amyloid clearance from the brain, thus reducing their accumulation and consequential damage.

In addition to clearing out existing plaques, consuming extra virgin olive oil might also prevent new ones from forming.

Research indicates that oleuropein aglycone, another component present abundantly in olives, could avoid the initial aggregation of these toxic peptides into more giant clumps, providing dual protection against Alzheimer’s disease progression.

Identifying Authentic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

To ensure the full health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil are enjoyed, verifying its authenticity is necessary. So, how can one distinguish authentic extra-virgin olive oil from the many options available? Let's break it down.

The first thing to check is the bottle itself. Authentic extra-virgin olive oil will be in a dark glass or tin container that shields it from light damage. Clear plastic bottles are usually a red flag.

Examine the source of the oil. The finest oils hail from specific regions like Tuscany in Italy or Andalusia in Spain and should state their origin clearly on the label.

The Taste Test

You've got your bottle - but what about taste? Genuine extra-virgin olive oil has unique characteristics: fruitiness followed by an aftertaste of pepper and even slight bitterness; these signify high levels of polyphenols - beneficial antioxidants linked to reduced inflammation and potential cancer prevention.

Pricing Matters

Finding quality doesn't always mean breaking the bank, but remember this: if the price seems too good to be true for an "extra virgin," then probably it isn’t authentic. Real EVOO requires rigorous cultivation methods, which are reflected in its pricing.

Certification Labels

Finally, don't forget to look for quality assurance labels like PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). These certifications make sure top-notch standards are met during production.

Blackcurrant seed oil

Black Currant Seed Oil and Olive Oil

Black currant seed and olive oil are distinct yet beneficial oils with unique advantages.

Black currant seed oil, renowned for its rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and omega-3 fatty acids, offers several health benefits.

These include supporting skin health, reducing inflammation, and potentially easing arthritis. The black currant seed oil benefits are attributed to its ability to reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being.

Olive oil, a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, is celebrated for its heart-healthy properties. It's packed with monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, known for reducing the risk of heart disease, improving cholesterol levels, and providing valuable nutrients for your body.

While olive oil and black currant seed oil have unique advantages, incorporating both into your diet can contribute to a well-rounded approach to nutrition and health.


Extra-virgin olive oil's popularity in health circles is well-deserved due to its potential to alleviate pain and inflammation. Rich in oleocanthal, it offers natural relief similar to over-the-counter pain relievers.

Consuming just over a tablespoon daily can provide notable health benefits. Additionally, extra-virgin olive oil shows promise in preventing Alzheimer's disease by reducing the formation of harmful proteins.

To ensure authenticity, check packaging, taste, pricing, and certification labels. Incorporating both extra-virgin olive oil and black currant seed oil into your diet can offer a well-rounded approach to nutrition and health, supporting overall well-being.

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