Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Arthritis

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Arthritis
4.31 (86.24%) 93 votes

What happened when topical olive oil was pitted against an ibuprofen-type drug for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Fifty million Americans suffer from arthritis, and osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common form, making it a leading cause of disability. Several inflammatory pathways underlie the onset and progression of the disease, and so, various anti-inflammatory foods have been put to the test. Strawberries decrease the levels circulating in the blood of an inflammatory mediator known as tumor necrosis factor, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into clinical improvement. For example, drinking cherry juice can lower a sign of inflammation known as C-reactive protein, but it failed to help with the disease. But wait, it says it “provided symptom relief.” Yeah, it did, but no better than placebo, meaning drinking it was essentially no better than doing nothing. Cherries may help with another kind of arthritis called gout, but they failed when it came to osteoarthritis.

The same with pomegranate juice. No significant improvement in symptoms, but then again, no significant improvement in inflammatory mediators either; so, perhaps there’s no surprise. But strawberries did decrease inflammation. Let’s see if they actually help in a randomized, double-blind cross-over trial, and . . . dietary strawberries were indeed found to have a significant analgesic effect, causing a significant decrease in pain. There are tumor necrosis factor inhibitor drugs on the market now available for the low, low cost of only about $40,000 a year. For that kind of money, you’d want some really juicy side effects, and they do not disappoint, like an especially fatal lymphoma. I think I’ll stick with the strawberries.

One of the reasons we suspected berries might help is that if you give people the equivalent of either a cup a day of blueberries, or two cups a day of strawberries, and then drip their blood onto cells in a petri dish, you can see a significant blunting of inflammation, compared to those who got placebo berries. And note that the attenuation of inflammation got better with time, so apparently the longer you eat berries the better. Are there any other foods that have been tested in this way?

Researchers in France harvested cartilage from knee replacement surgeries, and then exposed them to concentrates of the blood of volunteers who took a whopping dose of a grapeseed and olive extract. They saw a significant drop in induced inflammation. There haven’t been any human studies putting grape seeds to the test for arthritis, but an olive extract was shown to decrease pain and improve daily activities in osteoarthritis sufferers.

So, does this mean adding olive oil to one’s diet may help? No, because they used freeze-dried olive vegetation water. That’s basically what’s left over after you extract the oil from the olives; it’s all the water-soluble components. In other words, it’s all the stuff that’s in an olive that‘s missing from olive oil.

If you give people actual olives, a dozen large green olives a day, you can see a before versus after drop in an inflammatory mediator. But if you look at only the oil, a systematic review and meta-analysis on the anti-inflammatory benefits of olive oil found there does not appear to be any.

But wait, what about papers that ascribe remarkable anti-inflammatory effects to extra virgin olive oil? Here’s their evidence . . . on rodents. In people, extra virgin olive oil may be no better than butter when it comes to inflammation, and worse than even coconut oil.

So, should we just stick to olives? Sadly, a dozen olives a day could take up nearly half your sodium limit for the entire day.

When put to the test, extra virgin olive oil did not appear to help with fibromyalgia symptoms either, but it did work better than canola oil in alleviating symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any studies putting olive oil intake to the test for arthritis. But wait, why is this video entitled Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Arthritis? Because (are you ready for this?) it appears to work topically.

A double-blind, randomized, clinical trial of topical virgin olive oil versus a gel containing an ibuprofen-type drug for osteoarthritis of the knee. Just a gram of oil, which would be like less than a quarter teaspoon, three times a day. So that would cost less than three cents a day and… it worked! Topical olive oil was significantly better than the drug in reducing pain.  And the study only lasted a month, so maybe the olive oil would have continued to work better and better over time.

What about the effectiveness of olive oil in controlling morning inflammatory pain of fingers and knees among women with rheumatoid arthritis? The researchers went all out, comparing the use of extra virgin olive oil, to just rubbing on nothing, to rubbing on that ibuprofen-type gel, and evidently the decrease in the disease activity score in the olive oil group beat out the others.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avo Media

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Fifty million Americans suffer from arthritis, and osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common form, making it a leading cause of disability. Several inflammatory pathways underlie the onset and progression of the disease, and so, various anti-inflammatory foods have been put to the test. Strawberries decrease the levels circulating in the blood of an inflammatory mediator known as tumor necrosis factor, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into clinical improvement. For example, drinking cherry juice can lower a sign of inflammation known as C-reactive protein, but it failed to help with the disease. But wait, it says it “provided symptom relief.” Yeah, it did, but no better than placebo, meaning drinking it was essentially no better than doing nothing. Cherries may help with another kind of arthritis called gout, but they failed when it came to osteoarthritis.

The same with pomegranate juice. No significant improvement in symptoms, but then again, no significant improvement in inflammatory mediators either; so, perhaps there’s no surprise. But strawberries did decrease inflammation. Let’s see if they actually help in a randomized, double-blind cross-over trial, and . . . dietary strawberries were indeed found to have a significant analgesic effect, causing a significant decrease in pain. There are tumor necrosis factor inhibitor drugs on the market now available for the low, low cost of only about $40,000 a year. For that kind of money, you’d want some really juicy side effects, and they do not disappoint, like an especially fatal lymphoma. I think I’ll stick with the strawberries.

One of the reasons we suspected berries might help is that if you give people the equivalent of either a cup a day of blueberries, or two cups a day of strawberries, and then drip their blood onto cells in a petri dish, you can see a significant blunting of inflammation, compared to those who got placebo berries. And note that the attenuation of inflammation got better with time, so apparently the longer you eat berries the better. Are there any other foods that have been tested in this way?

Researchers in France harvested cartilage from knee replacement surgeries, and then exposed them to concentrates of the blood of volunteers who took a whopping dose of a grapeseed and olive extract. They saw a significant drop in induced inflammation. There haven’t been any human studies putting grape seeds to the test for arthritis, but an olive extract was shown to decrease pain and improve daily activities in osteoarthritis sufferers.

So, does this mean adding olive oil to one’s diet may help? No, because they used freeze-dried olive vegetation water. That’s basically what’s left over after you extract the oil from the olives; it’s all the water-soluble components. In other words, it’s all the stuff that’s in an olive that‘s missing from olive oil.

If you give people actual olives, a dozen large green olives a day, you can see a before versus after drop in an inflammatory mediator. But if you look at only the oil, a systematic review and meta-analysis on the anti-inflammatory benefits of olive oil found there does not appear to be any.

But wait, what about papers that ascribe remarkable anti-inflammatory effects to extra virgin olive oil? Here’s their evidence . . . on rodents. In people, extra virgin olive oil may be no better than butter when it comes to inflammation, and worse than even coconut oil.

So, should we just stick to olives? Sadly, a dozen olives a day could take up nearly half your sodium limit for the entire day.

When put to the test, extra virgin olive oil did not appear to help with fibromyalgia symptoms either, but it did work better than canola oil in alleviating symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any studies putting olive oil intake to the test for arthritis. But wait, why is this video entitled Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Arthritis? Because (are you ready for this?) it appears to work topically.

A double-blind, randomized, clinical trial of topical virgin olive oil versus a gel containing an ibuprofen-type drug for osteoarthritis of the knee. Just a gram of oil, which would be like less than a quarter teaspoon, three times a day. So that would cost less than three cents a day and… it worked! Topical olive oil was significantly better than the drug in reducing pain.  And the study only lasted a month, so maybe the olive oil would have continued to work better and better over time.

What about the effectiveness of olive oil in controlling morning inflammatory pain of fingers and knees among women with rheumatoid arthritis? The researchers went all out, comparing the use of extra virgin olive oil, to just rubbing on nothing, to rubbing on that ibuprofen-type gel, and evidently the decrease in the disease activity score in the olive oil group beat out the others.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avo Media

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This