While previous research has found that olive oil contains many healthy benefits, such as helping to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease, a new study suggests that it may also help the body protect against other damage.
Researchers from the University of Monastir and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia noted that some toxic herbicides, such as 2,4 Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, are known to deplete antioxidants, which ultimately leads to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress contributes to many health problems, including chronic fatigue syndrome, heart failure or Parkinson's disease.
The scientists fed olive oil to rats that were exhibiting signs of liver damage due to exposure to these toxins. In their findings, the investigators discovered that the olive oil helped to induce an increase in antioxidative activity,which in turn decreased the markers of liver damage.
Mohamed Hammami, one of the scientists involved with the study, said that while more detailed research needs to be conducted, "the hydrophilic fraction of olive oil seems to be the effective one in reducing toxin-induced oxidative stress."
To lead a healthier lifestyle and help protect the body against potential damage, individuals could consider cooking with extra virgin olive oil.