Phytochemistry: Ibuprofen-Like Activity in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Nature. 2005 Sep 1;437(7055):45-6. doi: 10.1038/437045a.

Abstract

Newly pressed extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal--a compound whose pungency induces a strong stinging sensation in the throat, not unlike that caused by solutions of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. We show here that this similar perception 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.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / adverse effects
  • Aldehydes / chemistry*
  • Aldehydes / isolation & purification*
  • Aldehydes / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / isolation & purification*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / isolation & purification
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cyclopentane Monoterpenes
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology
  • Ibuprofen / chemistry*
  • Ibuprofen / pharmacology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols / adverse effects
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Phenols / isolation & purification*
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / adverse effects
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology

Substances

  • Aldehydes
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Cyclopentane Monoterpenes
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Olive Oil
  • Phenols
  • Plant Oils
  • oleocanthal
  • Ibuprofen