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A compound in olive oil helps keep the blood flowing to your intestines.
Called oleuropein aglycone, it significantly reduces cases of intestinal ischemia, when blood supply in the intestines is restricted, causing immense pain.
It also reduces reperfusion injuries, the tissue damage intestinal ischemia causes.
"The phenolic compounds of olive oil can reduce the secondary injury associated with intestinal damage," said Salvatore Cuzzocrea, a University of Messina biologist.
The researchers made the discovery after testing the compound on mice and inducing intestinal ischemia.
"But until relatively recently, we have had few direct scientific insights into exactly how it works in the body. Not only does this report shed light on the molecular details of how olive oil may provide health benefits, but it may open new doors to enhancing treatments based on this discovery."
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