A new study shows that the Koroneiki variety of olive, native to Messini near Kalamata, and used in the production of extra virgin olive oil in the area, contains the highest levels of the naturally occurring anti-inflammatory oleocanthal.
A study by researchers at the University of Athens has highlighted yet another beneficial health property of Greek extra virgin olive oil.
The Olive Oil Times reported that in addition to identifying antioxidant, neuro-protective and heart-benefiting ingredients, samples of Messini extra virgin olive oil from the Koroneiki olive contained the largest amount of oleocanthal and other anti-inflammatory substances.
More studies are needed to determine exactly why the extra virgin oil from the Messini region is of superior quality to other oils.
A previous study led by Paul Breslin PhD revealed the naturally occurring chemical oleocanthal in extra virgin oil shares the same properties as the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. Breslin concluded "3.5 tablespoons of the oil has the same anti inflammatory effect as 200mg of ibuprofen, without the resultant aggravation to the stomach."