New research coming out of the United Kingdom suggests that increasing your intake of olive oil to two to three tablespoons per day may lower your risk of developing ulcerative colitis (UC).
A research team led by Dr. Andrew R. Hart, a senior lecturer in gastroenterology at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K., studied more than 25,000 men and women aged 40 to 75 between 1993 and 2004 who, at the onset of the study, did not have UC. Each of the study subjects kept a detailed journal of their diet for seven days. The journals were then evaluated and interpreted by nutritionists for nutritional content and quality. By the conclusion of the study, 22 individuals had developed UC.
According to Dr. Hart, and the study results indicate that individuals with the highest intake of oleic acid had a 90 percent lower risk of developing UC. Oleic acid, according to Dr. Hart, "prevents UC from developing by suppressing inflammation by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate inflammation." Furthermore, Dr. Hart estimates that about half of UC cases could be prevented if more oleic acid were consumed. Currently, approximately 1.5 million Americas are affected by inflammatory bowel disease, which includes both UC and Crohn's Disease.
Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, is also found in peanut and grape seed oil.
Dr. Hart's finding were presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010 in New Orleans, LA. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.
Published On: May 03, 2010