Compounds in olive oil called polyphenols may prevent infection with the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori, say Spanish researchers. Under their simulated in vitro conditions, extra virgin olive oil had strong antibacterial effects against eight strains of H. pylori, three of which were resistant to antibiotics. "These results open the possibility of considering extra virgin olive oil a chemoprotective agent for peptic ulcer or gastric cancer, but this bioactivity must be confirmed in vivo in the future," wrote the lead author. Previous studies have shown that green tea and cranberry juice also inhibit the growth of H. pylori.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol 55, 680-686

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