Extra-virgin olive oil shows promise against ulcerative colitis
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) reduces inflammatory markers and improves symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), a recent study has found.
The study included 40 UC patients who were asked to take 50-mL of EVOO or canola oil (CO) per day for 20 days. Participants were instructed to not cook or fry the oils, which were given to them blindly. The trial period was followed by a 14-day washout period after which patients were given another 20 days’ worth of the other oil.
Outcomes included disease activity, measured using the Mayo score, the gastrointestinal symptom rating scale (GSRS) score, and levels of blood inflammatory markers.
Following the EVOO intervention, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p=0.03) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels (p<0.001) dropped significantly. Serum lipid profiles were not significantly affected by oil administration.
Moreover, EVOO significantly reduced GSRS-assessed bloating (p=0.04), constipation (p<0.001), faecal urgency (p<0.001) and incomplete defection (p=0.04), as well as the final GSRS score (p<0.001). No such effect was found for other GSRS measures such as acid reflux, hunger pains, loose and hard stools, rumbling, and abdominal pain, among others.
There were likewise no significant changes in the Mayo disease activity score after EVOO or CO consumption.
“The results of this clinical trial showed that EVOO as a functional food has beneficial effects in the treatment of UC. Daily consumption of EVOO or a diet with high content of EVOO can be a complementary medicine for UC patients,” researchers said.