Oleocanthal is nature’s ingredient for pain relief. The reaction is similar to ibuprofen, with additional health benefits as well. Oleocanthal comes from extra-virgin olive oil. No other oil, from any source contains the anti-inflammatory drug.

Oleocantahal is widely believed to help or control many diseases. One of the latest discoveries is oleocanthal’s ability to stop, or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The substance is one of the reasons so many Mediterranean people who exist on a diet containing large amounts of extra-virgin olive oil have fewer problems with heart disease, cancer, stroke, or dementia.

How it Works

Oleocantahal works by changing the existing structure of protein in the body. This prevents protein from damaging the cells in the brain, heart, lungs, or other major organs. The protein, also known as ADDLs are a toxic division of normal body protein.
Oleocanthal Benefits
These have a devastating effect on older individuals and are a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDLs adhere to synapses in the brain and close them off. Oleocantahal alters the protein enough that it cannot bind to the synapse, thereby crippling its effect on the patient and stopping the advance of the disease.

Another theory on the way the enzymes in Olive Oil work to prevent disease and stop the onset of devastating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease is by singling out the ADDLs they make them easier targets for the body’s own natural anti-body defense.

Oleocanthal contains the same properties as other NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. The enzymes COX-1 AND COX-2 create an anti-inflammatory effect and are non-steroid in nature.

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Like many of its medicinal counterparts, oleocanthal was a scientific stumble upon drug. A researcher who participated in many ibuprofen experiments recognized a familiar ‘sting’ in the back of his throat when swallowing premium olive oil. That sting became part of the drug’s name: oleo=olive, canth=sting, al=aldehyde). Many tests followed to make sure the properties came from the oil itself and the particular ingredient in the oil before proclaiming the healing properties of the extract.


Oleocanthal comes from the purest form of olive oil—extra virgin olive oil. That oil comes from olive juice and is a mainstay in most Mediterranean diets.

Remember that only extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal. Other oils and even other olive oils do not. Regardless of what they are called, other olive oils go through some form of refining process that destroys the oleocanthal compound. Extra virgin olive oil is squeezed directly from the olive where other olive oils (pure, light, or otherwise labeled oil) are refined through a distillery. Pomace oil is another commercial form of olive oil, and the cheapest. It is made from the discards extracted from oil refinement.

Tasting It

The best way to tell if the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) you have has a high level of olencanthal in it is by taste. It is not yet listed in the breakdown of daily dietary percentages on food labels yet. Experts still haven’t figured out the best way to relate that information, and it doesn’t exist in any other food on the planet so it is hard to incorporate into a template of use for all foods.

The “bite” of peppery sensation on the back of your throat is a key indication of strength. The stronger, sharper, and more tangy that feeling is, the higher the level of olencanthal in the oil. That “sting” is what triggered the investigation of olive oil’s similarities to ibuprofen in the first place.

The stronger EVOOs often have a label that reads “robust” while others have “mild” on the label. The robust oil is the one with the higher levels of oleocanthal in it. It is true that EVOO made from younger plants have a higher level of oleocanthal and are more bitter, and sharp.


The properties in extra virgin olive oil, or the derivative oleocanthal, is known to prevent heart disease, calcium buildup in arteries, and veins, and is the target of many studies for other cardiovascular disease therapies. It has strong indications as a therapeutic measure against degenerative joint disease due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The effects of many diseases associated with inflammation such as asthma’s inflammation of the lungs are reduced with regular consumption of olencanthal.


Another pleasing property of oleocanthal is the decreased dosage for equal effectiveness. It only takes about 10% of the dose for ibuprofen to achieve the same results. For an adult that would be approximately 50 grams, or 3 tablespoons of olive oil per day. There are no indications specifically for a child’s dose. Typical daily consumption in a normal, healthy diet is sufficient for the buildup of benefits. If a child develops illnesses normally treated with ibuprofen or other anti-imflammatory drugs, seek the advice of a physician before attempting to medicate using oleocanthal or any other herbal remedy.
What is Oleocanthal
Olencanthal is elusive and somewhat difficult to process since most distillation methods or extraction methods destroy the compound. For that reason, the best way to consume olencanthal is still by naturally assimilating it through its source, extra virgin olive oil.

Liquid Capsules

There are, however, liquid capsules containing extra virgin olive oil so that you can take your daily requirements of oleocanthal without actually putting oil in your diet. Beware that since the only way to create the capsules is to use the full oil source since the oleocanthal is not removable as yet, you may still be subject to the calorie increases of the full serving of oil.

Some of the capsules advertising extra virgin olive oil are really extracts of several oils, and claim oleic acid as an ingredient. This may not be as helpful as the actual oleocanthal compound due to the processing so read labels carefully.


Extra virgin olive oil is more expensive than any other type of oil on the market, including other forms of olive oil. Those interested in the healing effects of EVOO pay the price to get the compound at its source. The average bottle of extra virgin olive oil costs about ten dollars for a sixteen-ounce bottle. Pills cost between sixteen and twenty dollars for 100 capsules.


As potent as olencanthal is, and in spite of the great prospect for delayed, reduced, or even stopped Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac problems, and other serious illness, it is not a total replacement for drugs such as ibuprofen.

It would take a very large dose of olencanthal to get rid of headaches, or serious pain the way other anti-inflammatory drugs will. However, when consumed regularly, it will help the body’s own natural defenses conquer serious illness.


Oleocanthal is one of the natural herbal medicines that do not have a true danger of consumption. However, too much of anything is usually a bad thing. There are reasons for the body’s defense systems and consuming even helpful foods with the desire to thwart inflammation more harm than good.

The good thing is, that no matter how where it is necessary may cause much oleocanthal you consume it will not hurt your stomach, or have other harsh interactions with your system the way ibuprofen or other NSAIDs may. Chemical NSAIDs are very harsh to the stomach, kidneys, and other soft tissues.

One danger unrelated to the chemical itself, but to the oil in the foods you eat is that olive oil contains approximately 100 calories per tablespoon. The average daily requirement for medicinal purposes is 3 tablespoons and that boosts your daily calorie intake quite a bit.

Do not be fooled into thinking that you can avoid the calories by using “light” olive oil. All of the oils have the same relative calorie count, but do not have the oleocanthal that extra virgin olive oil has.

Myths and Realities

Not all oils are created equal. There are some who believe any oil is as good as extra virgin olive oil. That simply is not true. The benefits from EVOO come from the single compound oleocanthal and that is not found in any other oil. There is some debate about the origin of the oil. Some feel the best EVOO comes from Australia where other research shows that it doesn’t matter as much where the oil comes from as it does the sting it possesses.

Some truths often confused with myths are that EVOO definitely is an antioxidant. EVOO is a good fat that is best when it is freshest. However, contrary to some beliefs it is nearly impossible to tell the freshness of a product if it isn’t labeled with dates. The biggest reality of EVOO that is not widely known, and that some believe is a myth is that you should not cook the oil when you are using it for medicinal purposes.

It is best drizzled over foods such as salads, or even mixed in raw with smoothies or other drinks that will mask the sharpness of the taste.

Best forms

The younger the olives used to create extra virgin olive oil, the stronger the chemical compound oleocanthal will be. Oleocanthal reacts badly to heat so avoid cooking with the oil when you desire the most benefits from it. That does not mean do not eat olive oil that is used in cooking, it means that oil will not count as your daily consumption for therapeutic purposes.


The ongoing research into what the active properties of olive oil do and how they react with the body’s defenses and illnesses continues to impress health professionals.

There are many things yet to know about olencanthal. We do not know all that it will, and will not do. However, it is certain that the benefits are outstanding even as we know them now.

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  • Reply Pat

    Thank you very much for the best article that I have found on this topic during my research. I will pass your article on to friends and relatives.

    At my local market I found a Robust EVOO made by Napa Valley Naturals that has the peppery “bite” that you describe. I first purchased one from Walmart’s labeled “robust” EVOO but the peppery bite was barely noticeable, if at all.

  • Reply Kenneth Wade Wilson

    Anything at Walmart is a watered down version of the same thing elsewhere. Even name brands at Walmart are a cheapified version of the same name brand elsewhere and lack certain things or have water or inferior material added. Sam Walton would have dragged his kids today behind his old pickup truck …

  • Reply aurelia castillo acosta

    Me gustaría saber el precio y el nombre de el medicamento y como obtenerlo,gracias

  • Reply Babul Kumar Bhattacharjee

    Please send your best offer and least delivery period for the bulk quantity of Oleocanthal Pills. Furthermore, kindly note that we will import bulk quantity regular basis. Please advice with your direct contact mobile phone number & e-mail & postal / physical address.

  • Reply John Kizer

    Where can I purchase a quality olencanthal supplement?


    • Reply Bville

      That’s what I’d like to know.

    • Reply frank barone

      where can i get oleocanthal to take daily. and does it really help to fight cancer. Thankyou for your help

  • Reply Bville

    From what I read elsewhere Oleocanthal isn’t really found in Olives.
    Oleocanthal is a synthetic version of deacetoxydialdehydic ligstroside aglycone.

    • Reply Daniel Guiducci

      Oleocanthal is NOT in the market itself. You must consume high quality EVOO with high content of polyphenols. I suggest you to purchase monocultivar made with Coratina olives. I tested myself an its very potent. It is usually mixed with other olive oils to make more pleasant and fragrant for topping and finishing a dish or salads.
      You can also refer to this page for more info:

      In health

    • Reply George

      Hi BVILLE,

      It’s the same thing with a different name, decarbo…. was first isolated in 1993 at the Univeristy of Puglia in Italy. In 2005, Adams et al. in Pennsylvania determined the precise chemistry and gave it the more “convenient” name: Oleocanthal.

      Efforts to synthetically create oleocanthal are still a way away. I produce this type of olive oil in Greece and provide it to universities who try to extract oleocanthal in its purest form from the olive oil. Even if you see a product that claims to be pure oleocanthal (pretty sure it doesnt exist) you will likely find that it is in fact olive oil with a very high content of oleocanthal or oleocanthal extracted from actual olive oil (pretty sure that doesn’t exist now either).

      You can get some synthetically created phenols, vitamins and other components in olive oil but i’m pretty sure oleocanthal isn’t one of them, at least yet.

  • Reply Bill

    Most exciting of all the things about Oleocanthal is what Rutgers University found out about this compound and cancer cells. Google it for yourself. No one would believe me if I said it here.

  • Reply Carystus

    About the dose, I think you have got it backwards. To cite one source: “..However, I don’t think you could effectively treat acute pain and inflammation strictly through the use of olive oil since the concentration of oleocanthal is quite low. Based on the research, if 1¾ ounces of extra virgin olive oil were consumed a day, the oleocanthal content would be equivalent to only about 10 percent of the adult recommended dosage of ibuprofen for pain relief—not nearly enough to treat, for example, a headache.“. That is why oleocanthal is not yet ready to deliver on all it’s promises; the amount of oil, with it’s detrimental effect on health, is just to high.

  • Reply Carystus

    btw. @ bville: No, Oleocanthal is not a “synthetic version’ of deacetoxydialdehydic ligstroside aglycone, Oleocanthal is the trivial name of deacetoxydialdehydic ligstroside aglycone. They are one and the same.
    @ bill: Right on, it is one reason why a low dose, high polyphenol olive oil is worth it! The only problem is to get high quality oil, as most olive oil on the marked, including those marked EVOO, are low in polyphenols, and worse, tainted with hydrocarbons, plasticizers, pesticides, PAHs and styrene, labeled fradulently with regards to origin, mixed with non-EVOO or even non-olive oil. One brand I have seen that aim to have a moderate/high level of polyphenols and an unadulterated EVOO is the brand “oliveheart”. Other high quality brand oils should be ok as well, just remember, a good quality oil cost (much) more than the avarage oil does. Never buy old oil, the best is only 3-6 month old, and never buy a clear bottle that has been standing on the shelf exposed to light. If producers/retailers were sensible, they would wrap bottles in brown paper and store them in a cooler. If they don’t, maybe that is a sign there is not so much to protect, who knows?

    • Reply Stephanie

      So what oil do I need to buy to fight or eradicate any cancer cells??
      Please someone tell me

      • Reply Kim

        If you have cancer you are probably much better off speaking with a doctor to seek immediate treatment rather than soliciting comments from various websites. Natural remedies can fix many common health problems, but seeking alternative treatments for cancer has cost many people their lives. Consider Steve Jobs…he was a billionaire & quite young, but alternative treatments didn’t work & the cancer spread while he was testing options other than surgery.

        • Reply Carys

          Kim, you wrote “If you have cancer you are probably much better off speaking with a doctor to seek immediate treatment ..”. Are you speaking from an informed position when you say this? My impression is that ‘conventional’ treatment is no very successful, and this may be because treatment select for the survival of treatment-refractory CSC’s, and encourage metastasis. The success/failure rate of modern western medicine in the treatment of cancer needs to be measured over a longer span of time, to allow for the effect of relapse. Admittedly, finding and applying the right cure from the CAM spectrum is daunting.

          • Kim

            Admittedly traditional medical care is not perfect, but cancer is not something one wants to wait around on, just like they wouldn’t want to wait around on a bacterial infection that seems to keep getting worse no matter what they do.

            Some of life is down to choices – diet and exercise play a huge role in many diseases – but some of it comes down to genetics and the luck of the draw from the genetic lottery. And perhaps there is also luck of where you are born, the availability of doctors & equipment. In some emerging markets infant mortality dropped significantly after locals were taught how to build incubators out of spare vehicle parts.

            With cancer there is likely no singular correct answer for everyone. Cancer is a rapidly evolving field of study with new treatments like CRISPR genome editing being tested in places like China. If I had cancer I would want to see what the latest options were, the symptoms, costs, potential for success, etc. … from at least a few professionals. You only get 1 life. I’d take the most modern medical research over a blog post on a random blog that may have been posted a few weeks, months or even years ago.

      • Reply Carys

        Stephanie, you should get the ‘two cough’ oils, pressed from young olives. High polyphenol content is a guidance, but the only test is your throat. The tongue taste of good oil is immediately ‘salty’, whereas the throat reaction takes more time to kick in.

  • Reply Intrepidangel

    Does anyone have any ideas such as using a hq olive oil with Oleocanthal in a vaporizer to produce a mist – then inhaling it – ie a patient with lung cancer – to see if it destroys the cancer ?? sounds nuts but there are few alternatives with this type of cancer – I wonder if it would have any detrimental effects on the healthy lung cells ?

  • Reply Marilyn Harding

    Thanks, Kim for this article. We are passionate about oleocanthal!

    I just wanted to share that my partner and I moved from Canada to Greece in pursuit of the best olive oil. What happened is we discovered the research of Drs. Magiatis and Melliou at the University of Athens into the medicinal benefits of high phenolic extra virgin olive oil. The short story is that we are now involved in the research and testing of high phenolic olive oil using our own in the field test kit for growers invented by Magiatis/Melliou. This kit is based on the sophisticated science of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and olive oils are tested and certified with the complete phenolic profile once sorted for quality.

    We are very excited about our work and hold annual competitions Aristoleo Awards to find the oils with the highest phenolic content. Categories are total phenols, oleocanthal + oleacein, and oleocanthal. We are presently part of an EU funded 3-year, 5-country study into high phenolic olive oil, benefits, qualities and production methods, ARISTOIL Interreg MED Program. All research and information will be made available to the prospective growers as well as to the public. – no more guessing about brands!

    The World Olive Center for Health (WOC) was just announced in Athens as a non profit organisation to disseminate information on the health benefits of High Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    It was the ancient texts of Hippocrates and Dioscorides which describe early harvest olive oil from green olives to be medicinal in nature. Now science is catching up!

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