Olive Oil: New Research Shows it Prevents DNA Damage

Wow! Olive oil prevents DNA damage, how exciting.

Why should we care about this?

Because DNA damage caused by inflammation is essentially the biochemical mother of all disease.

In an article recently published in the August 2008 “Journal of American Nutrition”, researchers concluded that olive oil likely prevents cancer and aging by protecting DNA from damage.

The “phenolic compounds” in olive oil were studied and determined to inhibit the initial stages of cancer formation caused by “oxidative stress” (unstable molecules in our bodies that destroy healthy tissues resulting in inflammation and disease).

Damage to our DNA is exactly what causes both cancer AND aging, along with a myriad of other chronic conditions. The phenolic compounds in olive oil are shown to have a protective effect in vitro to our DNA. The more antioxidants we can include in our diet, the more we can PREVENT disease.

The good news about this “in vitro” or test tube study is that researchers believe that the amount of olive oil needed to prevent cancer is easily achievable in “in vivo” or real life doses!

Researchers concluded that, “Overall, these results suggest that [phenolic compounds] may efficiently prevent the initiation step of carcinogenesis in vivo, because the concentrations effective against the oxidative DNA damage could be easily reached with normal intake of olive oil.”

Hooray! What a wonderful, delicious cancer fighting treat for us to include in our diets. We already know that olive oil in the diet is important for preventing cardiovascular disease and inflammation, now we have yet another reason to make olive oil a major source of fat in our diet.

So how can you get more olive oil in your diet?

First of all, I always recommend buying extra virgin olive oil, the greener the better.

Next, keep in mind that olive oil is not good for baking as much as it is good for drizzling on already cooked foods such as breads, steamed veggies, salads, soups, and popcorn (yes it is delicious with organic sea salt and nutritional yeast).

To achieve the maximum anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits be sure to keep the temp below it’s smoking point of 350F. Best yet, avoid cooking it when at all possible.

Today’s Kitchen Table Fix: Put olive oil on your bread and veggies instead of butter. Always make your own salad dressing with olive oil and lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Reference: “Oxidative DNA Damage Is Prevented by Extracts of Olive Oil, Hydroxytyrosol, and Other Olive Phenolic Compounds in Human Blood Mononuclear Cells and HL60 Cells” J. Nutr. 138:1411-1416, August 2008.

What is your favorite use of olive oil? Feel free to leave your links and ideas in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™


29 Responses to “Olive Oil: New Research Shows it Prevents DNA Damage”

  1. Dr. Nicole Sundene on September 19th, 2008 1:34 pm

    Hi Michael- Soy oil is total crap, if I must give my extreme professional opinion. Try replacing the soy oil with cold pressed canola oil, as that is the better second choice to olive oil. You can also use flax oil in recipes. I infuse olive oil with garlic and then just add about a tablespoon of lemon or vinegar for each tablespoon of oil. I will publish some of my favorite salad dressing recipes, you can also look for olive oil salad dressings in your grocery store. A lot of the popular brands are smartly switching over to using it!

  2. bcmoore on September 20th, 2008 1:54 am

    It may not be healthy to eat pasta as much as I do, but I definitely put some extra virgin olive oil on almost all pasta that I make. Sliced bread with some olive oil, garlic, and parm is a nice side as well. Lately I’ve been buying the new olive oil ‘butter’ that I saw turn up at my local grocer.

  3. J.A. on September 20th, 2008 2:16 am

    Take a look at Portuguese cuisine, olive oil is extremely common.

    One example would be the dishes in which you boil potatoes and vegetable (cabbage, carrots, turnip…) and eat them together with boiled or grilled fish. Each person pours olive oil over its food according to his own taste (and many times also a bit of vinegar and some bits of raw garlic).

    Soups would be another example, after the cooking is complete, it’s also usual to pour olive oil on them.

    In any case there are tons of examples, just get a book on Portuguese cuisine ;)

  4. vapblack on September 20th, 2008 2:47 am

    I actually use Olive Oil when I get out of the shower. I hate lotion and olive oil feels really nice. Plus it smells good. Win Win.

  5. Denis on September 20th, 2008 4:04 am

    Hey there Nicole, good and usefull article.. But one question :

    I tryed olive oil on salads and other food and I dont like it, but I dont have any problem what so ever to just drinking it every day.. So how much do you think is the optimal dose each day? Aproximately how many grams in your opinion ?
    I was thinking perhaps taking one spoon of it every day and live to be a 100 :)

    Thank you.

  6. psychic readings on September 22nd, 2008 4:32 pm

    Thanks for the information provided here.

  7. lvs on September 25th, 2008 11:42 pm

    Olive oil definitely has a lot of good properties. I have high cholesterol and my doc suggested I start using olive oil in my diet.

    As someone here said it is also great for skin.

    This article is very good…I will follow the tips you have given here on which olive oil to buy and how best to use it!

  8. Dr. Nicole Sundene on September 27th, 2008 11:45 am

    Hi Denis- We don’t quite yet know the answer to that because more research would need to be done to determine if it is an ounce a day or a cup of olive oil a day! Because the scientists concluded at the end of this study that we can easily extrapolate this out in to a preventative medicine diet, I would just go with using olive oil as often as possible in lieu of other fats…especially butter and margarine. Taking butter and margarine out of the diet is a great way to reduce the oxidative stress placed on our systems. Because olive oil is working from an antioxidant mechanism be sure to just include it in your diet along with other great sources of antioxidants like green leafies, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and so forth. These molecules all work together synergistically and reduce the total load of disease causing compounds. Think of them like a protective forcefield for your cellular membranes.

  9. Robert S. on October 4th, 2008 6:36 pm

    My massage therapist uses olive oil. I will have to tell her about this.

  10. Heather on October 4th, 2008 8:23 pm

    Do you have a recipe for olive oil lotion?

  11. Kitchen Table Cliffnotes: The Very First Edition! | Kitchen Table Medicine on October 5th, 2008 1:48 pm

    [...] The Latest Research: Olive oil was just recently shown to prevent damage to DNA, and researchers believe that can be easily extrapolated to real life “in vivo” cancer fighting and anti-aging potential. Hooray, lets all pour olive oil on everything we eat, in lieu of butter or (heaven forbid) margarine, the evil villain of the kitchen table. [...]

  12. Dr. Nicole Sundene on October 5th, 2008 3:42 pm

    Hi Robert, olive oil is a great massage oil, I usually add some essential oils like rosemary and lavender for scent and as a natural antimicrobial/preservative agent.

    Hi Heather, I am working on figuring out the portions of the recipes I create by using olive oil and beeswax and will post those in new articles soon. Yes, it is simple, cheap, and easy to use. A great anti-aging home remedy.

  13. Reader Question: How Can I Get Enough Calories On the Anti-Inflammatory Diet? | Kitchen Table Medicine on October 19th, 2008 9:05 pm

    [...] can easily add more calories in to your diet by adding high quality vegetable oils such as olive oil and canola oil. Because the phenolic acids in olive oil have been shown to have antioxidant benefit [...]

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  16. Austin GIrl on November 4th, 2008 7:09 am

    Hi Doc!

    Insightful article. Thanks for sharing. I love Olive Oil and have been using it for years. I love this website and will be returning often to get my does of healthy education from the only source I enjoy reading in the cyberworld!! — Austin Girl

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  19. Linda on November 29th, 2008 1:45 pm

    I’ve used Olive Oil for years in all my cooking. I also use it soften rough skin on my heels and as conditioner for my hair if it’s going through a dry phase.

  20. health advice on January 15th, 2009 11:05 pm

    That was an interesting article.
    I’ve been using olive oil in my cooking. It has a less cholesterol and the fact that it made my food tastier.

    health advice’s last blog post..Japanese Prawn and Noodle Salad Recipe

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  22. Rachel - Buy Computer Parts on January 28th, 2009 10:03 am

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  29. Monika on April 25th, 2011 9:36 am

    Hi to all excellent page love all the comments very beneficial ,about olive oil i have been using it for many years one hint that i got few years ago to reduce cholesterol 1 tbs or 3 tbs with 1 drop of vinegar in a empty stomach and before going to sleep.

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