Assessment of Helicobacter pylori eradication by virgin olive oil

Helicobacter. 2012 Aug;17(4):305-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2012.00949.x. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


Background: A recent study conducted by Medina et al. disclosed that virgin olive oil has a bactericidal effect in vitro against Helicobacter pylori because of its contents of certain phenolic compounds with dialdehydic structures. We carried out two clinical trials to evaluate the effect of virgin olive oil on H. pylori-infected individuals.

Materials and methods: Two different pilot studies were performed with 60 H. pylori-infected adults. In the first study, thirty subjects who tested positive for H. pylori received 30 g of washed virgin olive oil for 14 days, and after 1 month, the patients took 30 g of unwashed virgin olive oil for another 14 days. In a second study, a group of 30 subjects received 30 g of a different virgin olive oil for 14 days. Helicobacter pylori-infection status was checked by the urea breath test.

Results: Helicobacter pylori was eradicated in 8 of 30 individuals when microorganism status was checked after 4-6 weeks from the first clinical intervention although 12 of 30 individuals did not show H. pylori infection at 24-72 hour of the last oil dose. Eradication rates were 27 and 40% by intention to treat and per protocol, respectively. Moreover, only 3 of 30 individuals were H. pylori negative after 4-6 weeks from the second clinical intervention but 5 of 30 were negative at 24-72 hour of the last oil dose. Eradication rates were 10 and 11% by intention to treat and per protocol, respectively. It must also be noted that 13 subjects withdrew from the studies because of taste and nausea drawbacks.

Conclusions: The administration of virgin olive oil showed moderate effectiveness in eradicating H. pylori. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings, especially with longer periods, different administration conditions, and several types of olive oils.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects
  • Helicobacter pylori / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olive Oil
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils