The health secret of olive oil
June 11th 2007, 10:38 | Bryan Hubbard
Olive oil is good for us, as we all know, but now researchers have finally unlocked its health-giving secrets.
And the better the quality of the olive oil, the more oleocanthal you get. It's important to buy extra virgin olive oil, and to choose one that has more of a bitter and peppery taste which may induce coughing if you were to drink it neat.
The oleocanthal causes the tickle at the back of the throat - and that's what may be the secret of the famed Mediterranean diet. Oleocanthal is a phenol that helps stop the oil from turning rancid, and it also happens to stops inflammation-causing enzymes from forming.
The health secret of olive oil was discovered by accident. Dr Gary Beauchamp, of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, was tasting some freshly-pressed olive oil when he noticed a burning sensation at the back of his throat. It was exactly the same sensation as the bitterness and burning he experienced when he tested liquid ibuprofen in cold medicines.
"The moment I felt that burn, I saw the whole picture in my head," he said.
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