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Science News

Compound From Olive-Pomace Oil Inhibits HIV Spread 266

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the internal-tar-pits dept.
Researchers in Madrid are claiming that they have discovered that a type of wax found in olive skin can help to slow the spread of HIV. "Their work shows that maslinic acid - a natural product extracted from dry olive-pomace oil in oil mills - inhibits serin-protease, an enzyme used by HIV to release itself from the infected cell into the extracellular environment and, consequently, to spread the infection into the whole body. These scientists from Granada determined that the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80% slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body."
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Compound From Olive-Pomace Oil Inhibits HIV Spread

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  • Rachel Ray finds another use for Eee-Vee-Ohh-Ohh.

    - Greg
    • by rob1980 (941751) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:17PM (#19805985)
    • She uses it to fry things, which is a big "WTF?" if you know anything about olive oil. The whole point of extra virgin olive oil is that it's a lighter more flavorful oil, and it's usually substantially more expensive. Use it in a salad dressing or as a condiment, drink it straight out of the bottle like the Greeks do, but don't fry in it, jesus! It doesn't even have a very high smoke point, compared to refined olive oil.

      It's like frying something in sesame oil, or flaxseed oil, or any other oil that you ca
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Huh? I (stir) fry with sesame seed oil all the time - BECAUSE of the taste.
        • by dreddnott (555950)
          I fry/saute with extra virgin olive oil - "First Cold Press", the glass bottle claims. It's imported, I live in the United States of America. It's delicious!
      • Sesame oil at least has a high smoke point. Does Rachel actually fry stuff in extra virgin olive oil? That's just plain stupid. The high heat of frying ruins the taste and creates nasty, harmful compounds. I mean, regular olive oil is a bad choice for frying, let alone EVOO.

        And in case anyone doesn't know, EVOO traditionally means the first oil to run off from the first pressing. Virgin olive oil is the rest of the first pressing, and other olive oils come from the second and subsequent pressings. EVOO has
        • by Nasarius (593729)

          Does Rachel actually fry stuff in extra virgin olive oil? That's just plain stupid. The high heat of frying ruins the taste and creates nasty, harmful compounds.
          I don't think the OP meant deep-fry, but rather saute. Personally, as I'm deathly allergic to peanuts, I do like to cook with cheap olive oil. But anyone who does that with extra virgin (even the fake stuff) is an idiot with way too much money.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by spun (1352)
            Oh. Yeah, sure, saute in olive oil. For those who are unsure of the difference, sauteing happens at a slightly lower temperature than deep frying, and the foods are only half covered by the oil. It is also important in sauteing that the food is not crowded in the pan, sauter means 'to jump' in French, and the food should have room to jump about in the pan. If it is too tightly packed, you are in effect simmering or steaming instead.
      • Of course, in the U.S., EVOO is defined by acidity, so you're not buying real EVOO at the stores, just regular refined oil with a low acid level.

        If someone in the U.S. is buying Hi-Vee brand olive oil, they deserve what they get.

        There are plenty of stores that sell European olive oil in the U.S., where the label not only says "Extra-virgin" but also says "from the finest first-press olives only" or somesuch.

      • but you certainly can buy real EVOO at the stores. There is plenty of excellent EVOO available in the states.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by heinousjay (683506)
          No! You can't possibly! If it's in the US it must be inferior to anything European! Go read your Slashdot handbook immediately.
          • by Pharmboy (216950)
            You forgot to add the reason: Because we Americans are all like Jethro Bodine and don't appreciate the difference anyway.
      • Cold Press - First Cold Press, baby. Everything else on the label is just spin.

      • The 'extra virgin' classification doesn't mean very much now, if it ever did. It essentially means it comes from the first pressing of the olives. But with modern machinery, the first pressing can extract a large amount of oil. In some countries most olive oil produced counts as extra virgin, with lower grades made in smaller quantities. So it's not exactly a waste to use it for frying - it often isn't much more expensive than lower-grade olive oil.

        You are right that chemically it may not be well suited
  • hmm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:10PM (#19805893)
    ..and works as a lubricant too? :-)

    my, thats handy.
  • HIV is not AIDs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:17PM (#19805967)
    I'm skeptical. The source article, by stating "these scientists from Granada determined that the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80% slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body," conflates HIV with AIDs. You can slow down the spread a virus, such as the human immunodeficiency virus, in the body. You cannot slow down the spread of a syndrome, theorized not as caused directly by HIV, but by opportunistic infections as a result of HIV infection, in the body; only said opportunistic infections.
    • Re:HIV is not AIDs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:29PM (#19806123) Homepage
      Yeah, the opportunistic infections have an opportunity because of HIVs effect on the human immune system. Reduce the spread of HIV, reduce the effect on the immune system, reduce the opportunities of opportunistic infections. Pretty simple if you ask me.

      I don't think that a layman's article conflating HIV with AIDS -- not an unfair layman's conflation, considering that there is at least a causal relationship between them even if they are not the same thing -- should inspire such skepticism.
    • by iamacat (583406)
      HIV directly infects brain, causing dementia and, if you take anti-viral drugs that do not cross blood-brain barrier for long enough, probably death. AIDS patients are much sicker than those taking immunosuppresant drugs after a transplant. Opportunistic infections are only part of the story, you would die from AIDS even if you lived in a sterile glass bubble.
  • I suspect it's more likely that individuals with a slower-than-typical HIV growth after infection from the virus are the same individuals that really, really like olive-pomace oil.

    Occams razor and all that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lockejaw (955650)
      How can they tell which petri dishes of cells like olive-pomace oil? Should they make them fill out a survey?
  • skeptical at best. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brigadier (12956)

    I'm always skeptical of these third world countries scientific claims of some miracle cure usinging some natrual substance. i recently went to a seminar given by a recruiter for one of the larger universities in the Caribbean. I was flabergasted to hear them making claims of there findings as far as avocado curing aids and other such BS. The fact is though ambitious i'm sure they lack the level of technical abilities and testing proceedure to make a truly scientific claim. Flame me if you want but this is
    • by Kelson (129150) *

      I'm always skeptical of these third world countries scientific claims of some miracle cure usinging some natrual substance.

      Wait... Spain is a third-world country?

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:35PM (#19806203) Homepage
      I'm always skeptical of people who classify Spain as "third world".
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by marcello_dl (667940)

      I'm always skeptical of these third world countries scientific claims of some miracle cure usinging some natrual substance (...) I'm sure they lack the level of technical abilities and testing proceedure to make a truly scientific claim.

      But this is illogical. Scientific doesn't mean accurately measured, it's a matter of method. A Fermi problem's solution is not unscientific.

      Back to the topic, verifying the effectiveness of a cure for AIDS doesn't necessarily involve a pretty color image of a neutralize

  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:26PM (#19806087)
    Olive pomace is the left-over skins and fruit pulp for the first pressings of the olives. Secondary treatment of the pomace with steam and solvents extracts the residual oil and also extracts this seemingly beneficial oil/wax.

    Ironically, the cheaper grades of olive oil probably have more of this oil.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Ironically, the cheaper grades of olive oil probably have more of this oil.

      Why "ironically". Do you intend to use food olive oil to prevent HIV next time?
      • It's ironic because most people, including some of the early posters, associate high-quality, high-price, extra virgin olive oil as being "more healthful" than the cheap stuff. I'd wager than more than few victims of HIV/AIDs are buying extra virgin oil on the news of the experimental result in hopes of stemming the progress of their illness.

        It's ironic if oil extracted with chemical solvents is actually more beneficial than the pure, traditional, cold pressed oil.
  • Correlation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brian Cohen (1027542) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:28PM (#19806113)
    I noticed that eastern Mediterranean countries that produce a lot of olives [] have a lower incidence of adult HIV []. Not to imply that there is causation, and I know that other factors are at work, but I still found it interesting.
    • Pickles. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by C10H14N2 (640033)
      Scandinavia has the lowest rate in the world, Iceland beating everyone save North Dakota, which is populated nearly exclusively by Viking stock. Across Europe, there is a very strong correlation between latitude and HIV infection rates that roughly follows the increasing tendency toward pickling of both sustenance and self.

      If anything, it ain't the oil, it's the vinegar.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moosesocks (264553)
        Which is interesting, because you'd tend to think that descendants of Northern cultures would have weaker immune systems, given the fact that viruses tend to thrive in warmer climates.
  • Italians? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Zarjazz (36278)
    So how come the home of Olive oil, Italy, has one of the highest infection rates in Europe? s-infection-rate-by-country-europe-and-the-new-ind ependent-states/ []
  • What's an extra virgin? the /. regulars should know, right? hey-o!
  • by FlyByPC (841016) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:13PM (#19806603) Homepage
    "If I eat olive oil, I won't get AIDS."
  • There were lots of promising anti-HIV and anti-virals that were promising in the petri dish, but failed in clinical application. Hope this one is a clinical success.
  • by EnsilZah (575600) < minus painter> on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:41PM (#19806923)
    Does this mean the AIDS Cocktail will now come with an olive in it?
    Shaken, not stirred?

  • by Khyber (864651)
    How the hell are we supposed to run a decent site when stories get tags such as the ones for this story? Slashdot becomes digg more and more each day with this childish nonsense.
  • Monolaurin is an extract from coconut milk that is used to kill herpes virus strains including Epstein-Barr.

    The thing that bugs me about all of this is that most MDs don't seem to know about these things. MDs want to put you on toxic antivirals from pharm companies, when you can take something just as effective and nontoxic to humans like monolaurin.

    If you're interested, see the Medicinal properties of the wikipedia article. ""
  • by posterlogo (943853) on Monday July 09, 2007 @07:32PM (#19807347)
    None of the news blurbs about this research mention any sort of publication associated with these findings (for example: "published in this week's issue of Science", etc.). Also, a quick search in pubmed for garcia-granados shows limited publications in specialist journals, nothing nearly as flashy as this olive-oil HIV thing. My guess is they haven't published yet, or even had their paper reviewed yet. Most respectable journals embargo press releases until the issue of the journal comes out in which the findings are reported. This could certainly be interesting, but for now I would take it with a grain of salt, especially the part about "the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80 per cent slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body." WHAT body?? There's no way this treatment is in human clinical trials. This statement is pure baloney. Judging from their publication record, the Garcia-Granados lab is purely an organic chemistry/biochemistry lab. I seriously doubt they have any data with mammalian models.
    • "The effects of this compound in the fight against AIDS are simultaneously being studied in the UGR and in Hospital Carlos III in Madrid by a team headed by Prof. Vallejo Nájera."

      Well, that's where they're doing the human trials, though I can't imagine how they could be doing this so fast... maybe the clinical trial system is different is Spain.

  • Yes, it is a nasty disease, a friend of mines 25 year old son was recently diagnosed with it. And a very gifted pianist I know has had it for several years. I have a lot of sympathy and compassion for anyone with this terrible disease. But that said, there are two simple rules...

    1. Don't share needles if you are a drug user.
    2. Sexual contact - use a condom.

    If everybody followed these simple, common sense rules, there would be no HIV/AID epidemic.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming