Oleocanthal is a new natural polyphenolic anti-inflammatory agent found only in EVOO; specifically, it is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory compound that inhibits the activity of cyclooxygenase enzymes and whose anti-inflammatory mechanism of action is analogous to drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Oleocanthal, like many other healthy EVOO compounds, provides substantial health benefits despite not being found in large quantities.
Oleocanthal, like other anti-inflammatory drugs, inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the path of prostaglandin biosynthesis. But even Oleocanthal at echimolecular concentrations with ibuprofen, it has a superior inhibitory action of cyclooxygenases COX1 and COX24.
A recent review of the various healthy effects that Oleocanthal, present in certain EVOO, has seen its beneficial effect on pathological processes related to chronic inflammation, including some specific types of cancer, degenerative joint diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s 5.
Arthritis. Inflammation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of degenerative joint diseases. Oleocanthal inhibits the enzymes of cyclooxygenases, causing the reduction of the synthesis of prostaglandins involved in the inflammatory process. This phenolic compound thus helps relieve the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis through the decrease in PGE2 that results from COX inhibition.
4.- Beauchamp, G.K., Keast, R.S.J., Morel, D., Lin, J., Pika, J., Han, Q., Lee, C-H, Smith, A.B. III, Breslin, P.A.S. Ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil. Nature, 2005, 437, 45-6.
5.- Parkinson’s, L. and Keast, R. Oleocanthal , a phenolic derived from virgin olive oil: a review of the beneficial effects on inflammatory disease. Int. Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2014, 15, 12323-12334.