2. Olive oil consumption may help to protect the liver from oxidative stress
A study has shown that extra-virgin olive oil and its extracts can help in protecting the liver from oxidative stress.
For the study, rats were exposed to an herbicide (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) of moderate toxicity that depletes antioxidants and leads to oxidative stress. It was discovered that those rats given a diet supplemented with the olive oil were to some extent protected from the ensuing liver damage.
The rats were divided into an olive oil group, a control group, and six groups that had been subjected to herbicide exposed with or without either extra virgin olive oil, or one of the 2 oil extracts (lipophilic fraction or hydrophilic fraction).
All rats fed the herbicide displayed signs of considerable liver damage.
Intake of extra virgin olive oil as well as the hydrophilic fraction however induced a substantial antioxidant enzyme activity increase and a reduction in liver damage markers.
The olive oil hydrophilic fraction appears to be the effective extract in the reduction of oxidative stress induced by toxins, suggesting that hydrophilic extract may have a direct antioxidant impact on hepatic cells.