Anti-inflammatory activity.

Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra virgin olive oil; Beauchamp GK et al. Nature. 2005. 

Beauchamp et al. reported that oleocanthal inhibits the cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and COX-2 enzymes which are involved in the biochemical inflammatory pathways supported by arachidonic acid derivatives.

“The similar pungent perception than ibuprofen seems to be an indicator of a shared pharmacological activity, with oleocanthal acting as a natural anti-inflammatory compound that has a potency and profile strikingly similar to that of ibuprofen. Although structurally dissimilar, both these molecules inhibit the same cyclooxygenase enzymes in the prostaglandin-biosynthesis pathway”.

Further evidence for the anti-inflammatory activity of oleocanthal: inhibition of MIP-1α and IL-16 in J774 macrophagues and in ATDC5 chondrocytes. Morena Scotece et al. Life Sciences 2012.

“A clear potent role of oleocanthal as anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent for future treatment of arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.”

“Oleocanthal inhibits LPS-induced NO production un J774 macrophagues without affecting cell viability. Moreover, it inhibits MIP-1α and IL-6 mRNA expression, as well as protein synthesis, in both ATDC5 chondrocytes and J774 macrophagues. Oleocanthal also inhibits IL-1β, TNF-α and GM-CSF protein synthesis from LPS-stimulated macrophagues.

These inflammatory mediators have considerable roles in inflammatory degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis and reumatoid arthritis”.

“Oleocanthal inhibits local inflammatory activation in cartilague and inhibits the inflamatory cascade in synovial cells”.

New drugs from ancient natural foods. Oleocanthal, the natural occurring spicy component of olive oil: a brief story. Drug Discovery Today; Morena Scotece et al. 2014

“Chronic inflammation is a crucial factor in many patologies and the attenuation of pro-inflammatory mediators has been partially attributed to the high intake of extra virgin olive oil accompanying the Med Diet. Phenolic compounds extracted from extra virgin olive oil have been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity”.

Effect of oleocanthal and its derivatives on inflammatory response induced by lipopolysaccharide in a murine chondrocyte cell line. Iacono A. et al. Arthritis Rheum. 2010

“Recently, oleocanthal isolated from extra virgin olive oil was found to display nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug activity similar to that of ibuprofen, a drug widely used in the therapeutic management of joint inflammatory diseases.

Oleocanthal and its derivatives decreased lipopolysaccharide-induced NOS2 synthesis in chondrocytes without significantly affecting cell viability at lower concentrations”.


p-HPEA-EDA a phenol compound of virgin olive oil activates AMP-activated protein kinase to inhibit carcinogénesis. Carcinogeneis. Khanal P. et al. 2011.

Oleocanthal was able to inhibit the activity of actuator protein (AP)-1, which is a transcription factor that controls celular differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis.

Oleuropein inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in HT-29 colon cancer cells, activating AMP-activated protein kinase and inhibiting COX-2 expression.

Olive phenolics as c-Met inhibitors: oleocanthal attenuates cell proliferation, invasiveness and tumour growth in breast cancer models. PLOS ONE 9 (2014).

These authors confirmed the anticancer effects of oleocanthal treatment in breast cancer. Oleocanthal was able to reduce c-Met kinase activity, cell growth, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells and tumoringenecity in a mouse model.

Last February 2015, researchers from Rutgers University and Hunter College discovered in a lab study that oleocanthal causes a rupture of a part of the cancerous cell which releases enzymes and causes cell death, without harming healthy cells. In this way, cancer cells are killed by their own enzymes.

“Oleocanthal has been shown to interfer with processes associated with many types of inflammation, Alzheimer disease and cancer formation and growth”.

They discovered that oleocanthal caused cancer cells to break down and die very quickly; within 30 minutes instead of the 16 to 24 hours it takes for programmed cell death, known as apoptosis.

“There are many studies that show that oleocanthal can interfer with cancer processes and growth pathways. It has also been shown in live animals that oleocanthal can shrink tumors in mice”, explained one of the researchers.

They focused on breast, pancreatic and prostate tumor cells and showed they could be killed, but we did not kill three kinds of healthy non-cancerous cells.


Inhibition of taw fibrillization by oleocanthal via reaction with the amino groups of tau. J. Neurochem Li W et al. 2009.

Oleuropein has been proved to reduce the fibrillization of tau protein, which is a reduced risk of neurodenegerative pathologies as Alzheimer disease.

Alzheimer´s associated Aβ oligomers show altered structure, immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity with low dose of oleocanthal. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2009.

Oleocanthal was able to modulate the structure immunoreactivity and synaptotoxicity of Aβ oligomers, suggesting that oleocanthal wa able to reduce the formation of Aβ senile plaques in the brain.

Olive oil derived oleocanthal enhances beta-amyloid clearance as a potential neuroprotective mechanism against Alzheimer. AbuzNait AH et al. 2013.

Several lines of evidence report that Alzheimer disease mainly develops as a result of the excessive accumulation of Aβ in the brain. This study shows that oleocanthal enhance the clearance of Aβ from the brain.

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    Since 2004, olive oil has been recognized as beneficial for health .


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