New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) suggests that olive oil may work to prevent ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis afflicts a million people in the U.S. with inflammation of the lining of the large bowel (colon) resulting in great abdominal distress, diarrhea and undesired weight loss.
"The researchers, led by Dr Andrew Hart of UEA's School of Medicine, studied more than 25,000 people aged 40-65 living in Norfolk, UK. The volunteers were recruited to the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Diet and Cancer) between 1993 and 1997. The participants, none of whom had ulcerative colitis at the outset, completed detailed food diaries which were later analysed by specially trained nutritionists working in Cambridge."
Volunteers with the highest oleic acid in their diets had a 90 percent lower risk of ulcerative colitis. Oleic acid is found in olive oil. Dr. Hart estimates that two or three tablespoons of olive oil daily could do the trick. Oleic acid is also found in butter, grapeseed oil and peanut oil.