Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease

Study finds diet rich in oleic acid may prevent development of ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis is a distressing disease affecting 120,000 people of all ages in the UK and 1 million in the US. It is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the colon or large bowel, which causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss.

Presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans, the findings of medical researchers at the University of East Anglia show that people with a diet rich in oleic acid, which is present in olive oil, are far less likely to develop ulcerative colitis. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil, peanut oil and grapeseed oil, as well as in butter and certain margarines.

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