Blending Allopathic and Alternative Therapy with Care and Confidence.
Subject: Oleocanthal-rich high phenolic olive oil.
Just over eight months ago the sister of a friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was in stage 3c, both ovaries were affected and there were spots on her bowel and stomach apron. Our friend rushed to be with her sister, got her on a rigorous juicing regimen, only organic food, extremely pure water and also took her oleocanthal-rich olive oil (over 1000 mg/kg of oleocanthal and oleacein) of which she took 45 mg every morning on an empty stomach. The sister was committed to traditional treatment but willing to try alternative therapy.
High phenolic olive oil is a newly recognised category of olive oil
made from early harvest green olives, which is tested for its
health promoting phenolic content.
Research using high phenolic olive oil is increasing, particularly with those rich in the phenolic compounds oleocanthal (anti-inflammatory) and oleacein (antioxidant), in regards to the potential prevention and/or treatment of illnesses or conditions which are caused by chronic inflammation, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, Type II diabetes and many cancers.
This week the sister was given an all clear! Was it a miracle? Well yes and no.
Shortening the long road of treatment and recovery.
Linda (pseudonym) was advised to undergo chemotherapy in preparation for surgery. After three of the six prescribed sessions, the hospital was surprised that Linda’s blood count had dropped so quickly and also noted how she bounced back from the chemo treatments which devastate most. Linda felt well enough to socialise in the week following her chemo treatments and didn’t have to use any of the nausea relief medication sent home with her. The hospital decided that surgery could be scheduled with the remaining chemo treatments following.
In the meeting with the surgeon, Linda was asked if she was taking any alternate therapies. She told him she was taking herbal supplements and high phenolic olive oil. “Okay”, he said, “for ten days prior to the surgery, stop taking the supplements and the olive oil. Olive oil can act as a blood thinner. But after you get home following the surgery, carry on!” It was an endorsement that what Linda had been doing was obviously working to her healing advantage.
Over two thousand years ago in his De Materia Medica, Dioscorides
refers to the medicinal effects of early harvest olive oil, as did Hippocrates in his time.
It can’t be stressed enough that when undergoing allopathic treatment, the doctor must be apprised of any alternative therapy a patient may be taking. Consider the fact that most pharmaceuticals are synthetic compositions created to mimic a natural botanical remedy.
Aspirin for example was originally derived from salycin obtained from the bark of white willow. Digitalis, which is poisonous, used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, is from the flowering plant Foxglove. Being natural and plant based does not mean that the remedy is not highly potent and a potential interference to the activity of the prescribed medical protocol.
As Linda discovered, high phenolic olive oil may have therapeutic effects overall but also has blood-thinning properties, which could seriously impact surgery and recuperation if not disclosed to the doctor.
Small stories with large potential, if documented.
Now, this is anecdotal evidence, which literally means small stories. Evidence like this in not based on hard facts but on one person’s experience. It might be one thing or a multiple of factors that affect an outcome. What works for one may not work for another.
However, clinical and human trials can take years to complete and they are more often than not better funded for synthetic pharmaceutical products that can be patented than for a natural product, nutraceutical or medicinal food.
In the case of oleocanthal-rich olive oil, there are many ongoing studies into its beneficial preventive and therapeutic effects not only on a number of cancers, but cardiovascular health and neurodegenerative illnesses as mentioned above. The effectiveness has to do with oleocanthal’s anti-inflammatory properties, as it is roundly proven and agreed that chronic inflammation in the body is the foundation of most illness.
Integrative medicine and the concept of “treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms of illness” is becoming more mainstream, and even conventional physicians are increasingly more likely to discuss the nutraceuticals and wellness therapies patients have already prescribed for themselves, or to make suggestions about CAM treatments they might pursue.
Dr D’Agostino, chair of the department of internal medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Texas. Read more…
Oleocanthal: another tool in the kit to recovery?
As a natural whole food, there are no negative side effects and, if taken regularly on an empty stomach, an oleocanthal-rich olive oil may prevent and/or ease certain conditions.
However, if taking prescribed medications for pre-existing conditions, always consult your health professional to monitor the beneficial effects of a daily regimen of high phenolic olive oil. This is the safe and confident way to reduce dependence on pharmaceuticals and incorporate a more heath-promoting natural regimen.
Each year, as research continues to show the benefits of this health-protective high phenolic olive oil, the number of early harvest olive oils, high in phenolic compounds is increasing. Some of these high phenolic olive oils have many times the EU requirement for the 432-2012 health labelling claim for cardiovascular health.
“The claim may be used only for olive oil which contains at least 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) per 20 g of olive oil. In order to bear the claim information shall be given to the consumer that the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 20 g of olive oil.”
If, like Linda, other patients undergoing chemotherapy might find the high phenolic olive oil enhances the efficacy of the chemotherapy treatments and at the same time lessens the deleterious side effects wouldn’t that be something the medical team would want to know?
Again, each patient is different and this is all the more reason to include your doctor in your decision to add oleocanthal-rich olive oil to your daily diet. If, in Linda’s case, her blood levels and progress through chemotherapy, surgery and ultimate “all clear” outcome in mere months were documented and monitored by her medical team, this would be a boon to other patients facing the daunting prospect of cancer treatment.
As more health conscious individuals do their own research into prevention and treatment of illness and engage their physician in collaboration for wellness, more doctors will be encouraged to have an open mind and be informed. Communication with healthcare practitioners both conventional and natural allows us to build bridges, expand our therapeutic regimen and enjoy the best of all worlds in our quest for optimum health and vitality.
To your health!
NOTE: Personally I do not like the term “alternative” when describing a natural or holistic protocol. If you consider that health is a natural state and prevention and healing can be achieved as Hippocrates recommended when he said “Let food by they medicine and medicine by thy food.” then the actual “alternative” is medical intervention to treat an illness.
For example, in Greece there are thousands of people over eighty years of age who have never been to a doctor. They are healthy, energetic and still work in the fields or at home, active contributors to the culture and society.
Also the term alternative as used in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) tends to be divisive as in ‘ether allopathic or alternative’ which contributes to the resistance on both sides to work together. I believe that a better term is integrative or holistic.
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