ABSCESS   
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WHOOPING COUGH   

ULCERS

Treating Ulcers with…Olive Oil?

When it comes to stomach pain, we often associate the pain with what we’ve eaten.

My stomach hurts. Oh, it must have been that spicy food I ate last night – a thought of this nature has no doubt entered your mind when your stomach hurts like heck.

While stomach pains could be any number of things, oftentimes they’re something much more serious than a mere stomach ache or bloating. And oftentimes they have nothing to do with  what we’ve eaten. In short, they could be an ulcer.

In 80 percent of diagnoses, ulcers stem from an infection called Helicobacter pylori (aka H. pylori) – a bacterium that forms within the epithelial lining of the stomach. While the cause of the H. pylori is unknown, what is known is that nearly 66 percent of the world’s population is infected with it, though the symptoms and severity of it vary widely. In fact, sometimes people infected with H. pylori are asymptomatic. But the majority of those infected display its most prevalent symptom – a burning sensation in the pit of the stomach that occurs either on an empty stomach or between meals.

While most people go on to live long and healthy lives if infected with H. pylori – something very treatable with antibiotics – it can sometimes lead to gastric cancer, the second most common form of cancer worldwide. It’s particularly prevalent in China, where half of the world’s deaths from gastric cancer originate. The fact that half of China’s children are infected with H. pylori may have something to do with that.

But that trend may be a thing of the past, this after a recent study has shown that the consumption of virgin olive oil can not only prevent H. pylori, but it can also treat it!

Researchers from Spain discovered this after simulating the conditions of an ulcer in the stomach while working in a laboratory at the University of Salme in Seville. They found that when virgin olive oil was applied to the conditions simulating an H. pylori infection, the olive oil actually helped reduce the severity of the infectious strains – including three strains that are immune to antibiotic treatment. The study has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

This is great news for the medical community, particularly among ethnicities where ulcers are most prevalent – African Americans and Hispanics, according to the CDC.

So what is it about olive oil that makes it such a salve to ulcers? The researchers believe it is the high level of phenolic compounds found in olive oil, the same compounds found in health promoting drinks like green tea and cranberry juice.

This great news is just another reason why olive oil is the best oil to cook with and why it’s an essential oil to incorporate into your diet. Not only is olive oil high in monounsaturated fats – the good kind of fats – but studies have shown that consuming two tablespoons of olive oil a week can dramatically decrease the risk of getting heart disease – a disease that’s garnered increased attention of late after the untimely death of NBC’s Tim Russert.

Do yourself, your heart and your stomach a favor – opt for olive oil over all other oils when cooking tonight, tomorrow and into the future.

 

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