It's unusual to think about a culinary oil as an anti-inflammatory food. Plant oils are nearly 100% fat, and in a general dietary sense, they are typically classified as "added fats." Intake of too much added dietary fat can be a problem for many reasons—including reasons involving unwanted inflammation. So it's pretty remarkable to find a culinary oil that's repeatedly been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and provide health benefits in the area of unwanted inflammation. Yet that's exactly the research track record that describes extra virgin olive oil.
The anti-inflammatory strength of olive oil rests on its polyphenols. These anti-inflammatory compounds include at least nine different categories of polyphenols and more than two dozen well-researched anti-inflammatory nutrients. Research has documented a wide variety of anti-inflammatory mechanisms used by olive oil polyphenols to lower our risk of inflammatory problems. These mechanisms include decreased production of messaging molecules that would otherwise increase inflammation (including TNF-alpha, interleukin 1-beta, thromboxane B2, and leukotriene B4); inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase 1 and cyclo-oxygenase 2; and decreased synthesis of the enzyme inducible nitric oxide synthase.
Olive Oil also has digestive health benefits
Digestive Health Benefits
Benefits of olive oil for the digestive tract were first uncovered in research on diet and cancers of the digestive tract. Numerous studies found lower rates of digestive tract cancers—especially cancers of the upper digestive tract, including the stomach and small intestine—in populations that regularly consumed olive oil. Studies on the Mediterranean Diet were an important part of this initial research on olive oil and the digestive tract. Protection of the lower digestive tract (for example, protection of the colon from colon cancer) is less well-documented in the olive oil research, even though there is some strongly supportive evidence from select laboratory animal studies. Many of these anti-cancer effects in the digestive tract were believed to depend on the polyphenols in olive oil and their antioxidant plus anti-inflammatory properties. One particular category of polyphenols, called secoiridoids, continues to be a focus in research on prevention of digestive tract cancers.
Recent research has provided us with even more information, however, about olive oil, its polyphenols, and protection of the digestive tract. One fascinating area of recent research has involved the polyphenols in olive oil and the balance of bacteria in our digestive tract. Numerous polyphenols in olive oil have been shown to slow the growth of unwanted bacteria, including bacteria commonly responsible for digestive tract infections. These polyphenols include oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol. Some of these same polyphenols—along with other olive oil polyphenols like ligstroside—are specifically able to inhibit the growth of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium. This effect of the olive oil polyphenols may be especially important, since overpopulation of Helicobacter bacteria coupled with over-attachment of Helicobacter to the stomach lining can lead to stomach ulcer and other unwanted digestive problems.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... e&dbid=132
Does Inflammation Play a Role in Autism?
The Inflammation-Autism Link
Writing in Psychology Today, psychiatrist Emily Deans, M.D. notes:
"The reason no one has been able to find a specific pathological cause or cure [for autism] is because it is multifactorial -- it seems that a combination of genetic, environmental, neurological, and inflammatory factors contribute to the development of autism."
She then goes on to highlight what she calls "the best evidence of the actual inflammatory damage" that leads to autism, which is a 2005 study by Johns Hopkins University researchers. Russell Blaylock, M.D. also noted this landmark study in his article "The Danger of Excessive Vaccination During Brain Development: The Case for a Link to Autism Spectrum Disorders:"
"In the Vargas et al study … they examined the brains of 11 autistics from age 5 years to 44 years of age dying without active infectious diseases as compared to age matched controls. That is, they found widespread activation of inflammatory cells (microglia and astrocytes) in the brains of the autistic patients. This explains the widespread brain damage seen in all autism cases.
This study was one of the most carefully conducted, extensive examinations of the immune reactions in the autistic brain ever done and involved immunocytochemistry, cytokine protein assays and enzyme-linked immunoascorbant assays of the brain tissue. They also performed similar assays of spinal fluid from an additional six living autistic patients, which confirmed the intense immune activation and inflammation."
Along with the finding that brain inflammation is common in autistic patients, the disease has also been labeled an autoimmune disease by some, and inflammation is a well-known hallmark of autoimmune disorders.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... utism.aspx