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Compound From Olive-Pomace Oil Inhibits HIV Spread 266

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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  • by Samalie ( 1016193 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:13PM (#19805923)
    +1 Insightful? What is it, bring a troll to mod day today?
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:24PM (#19806055)

    Yikes, there are so many problems with this arguments I don't know where to begin. But, whether you're trolling or not, it's a commonly stated one, so I'll answer it (at least in part).

    Regardless of how you define "moral behavior," many cases of AIDS are spread through "moral behavior." People get it from their spouse, when neither of them knew the spouse had it. The spouse might have gotten it from a previous partner, or a blood transfusion problem (fortunately rather rare now). What about the child who contracts it from their mother?

    Whether sex outside of marriage is moral or not is a matter of personal interpretation. Certainly much of society views it as normal. Many people have a single monogamous relationship at a time, but more than one through their lifetime. Is that so immoral that we should condemn them to die because of it?

    There is no evidence of "recruitment" by homosexuals. Rather, there is a mounting body of evidence that people become homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual as a result of factors beyond their control -- both genetic and environmental. This, combined with ample of evidence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom, would seem to imply that homosexuality is quite natural -- and that therefore the classification of it as immoral is a rather odd invention of mankind.

    As to why AIDS gets so much funding -- it's a horrible disease, with a near-100% fatality rate. It infects a staggering number of people. It is currently busy depopulating much of sub-Saharan Africa (where, by the way, the primary mechanism of spreading is between married partners and from mother to child). Diseases that are epidemic in scale, have exceedingly high fatality rates, and which we don't know how to cure should scare anyone. Hopefully all this research will be helpful if another such disease appears.

  • Here is why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:27PM (#19806095)
    The HIV virus is a very interesting virus. Of all the common viruses, it is one of most deadly and the hardest to cure. It kills millions of people every year. Which other virus is doing that? Please tell me. This is why it is interesting for study. Most of other infectious diseases people are dying of can be cured with antibiotics, but people never get them.

    When the next viral pandemic hits, we want to make sure we know all about how to quickly and effectively deal with it.

    Cancer and heart disease do get more funding than AIDS (as they should). Although it's pretty sad that I have to mention this .. you should know that curing AIDS will save many heterosexual and monogamous women's lives in Africa (you and your preacher should be interested in that right?). These are innocent women who's husbands cheated on them with prostitutes. Also importantly, treating AIDS will enable children in Africa to grow up with mothers and/or fathers.

    PS> Why don't you stop hating? The venom is eating away your rational thoughts.
  • 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 reytron ( 1093289 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:29PM (#19806125)
    are you also skeptical of willow bark being used to treat headaches, aloe plants being used to soothe sunburns, and mold being used to treat infections? drugs come from plants.
  • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <.Satanicpuppy. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:41PM (#19806275) Journal
    It's because we like immoral behavior; if it only affected religious zealots, we'd add it to the water supply.

    I just love how so many so-called Christians can be so happy to watch other people die. Whole buncha stone throwing fake christians in the world today.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate all religious people. Just the holier-than-thou hypocrites who talk about god while imposing their narrow-minded world view on everyone else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:46PM (#19806317)
    Huh? I (stir) fry with sesame seed oil all the time - BECAUSE of the taste.
  • Re:hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lockejaw ( 955650 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:55PM (#19806403)

    ..and works as a lubricant too? :-)
    If you use it that way, it may increase rate of HIV transmission -- remember, folks, condoms are soluble in oil.
  • by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:13PM (#19806603) Homepage
    "If I eat olive oil, I won't get AIDS."
  • by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:28PM (#19806793) Homepage Journal

    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 neutralized HIV. Watch for average life expectancy, reaction to infections. So the technical ability needed is a six month course in statistics, and the testing procedure involves being able to count days of survival for a decent sized sample.

    If you want to be logical then be skeptical whenever a therapy involving artificial stuff is compared favorably against a natural cure because:
    • the interests in pushing something proprietary and patented are usually much higher.
    • nature synthesizes complex stuff which has been around for longer while the interactions of artificial substances with man and environment are analyzed for too little time, for sheer impracticality and again commercial interests.
    • there are documented precedents of interests pushing the under-performing candidate. Cotton against hemp. Private cars against public transport (see [culturechange.org]). Windows against a real OS...
  • by norton_I ( 64015 ) <hobbes@utrek.dhs.org> on Monday July 09, 2007 @06:38PM (#19806893)
    Lots of people get sick or die from food poisoning. Nobody to my knowledge has died from GM foods, irradiated foods, or growth hormone. There are no scientific studies that show negative effects from the first two.

    I find the occasionally excessive enthusiasm for pasteurization annoying, but it isn't like there is no reason for it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @08:17PM (#19807779) Homepage
    Dude, I'm Christian too, but seriously -- comments like this are entirely counter-productive. Let me dissect your, and I use the term loosely, "logic" point by point:

    1) Quote: Why does AIDS get such a huge amount of funding?
    Perhaps because it is a truly horrible disease that brings a boatload of suffering to millions of people around the world?

    2) Quote: Other diseases kill far more people every year...
    True. Do you think no one is working on them?

    3) Quote: ...and most of them aren't caught by immoral behavior.
    Is AIDS/HIV only caught by immoral behavior? Back in the late '80s, there was a huge story on the news about a kid in Florida (IIRC) who caught AIDS from a blood transfusion (this was before screening blood for HIV was as common as it is now). In what type of immoral behavior did this kid engage? How about EMT's, paramedics, doctors, nurses or other good Samaritans who contract AIDS while attempting to render assistance to someone else who has AIDS? If you are a paramedic or E.R. nurse, can you tell for certain which of your patients is "moral" before supplying medical care? Or would you just prefer to let everyone care for themselves?

    4) Quote: The pastor at my church says it's the gays promoting their choices as normal behind all this.
    The problem with conspiracy theories is that it requires everyone involved in the conspiracy to carry the secret to the grave. Most people can't keep a secret. Ergo, conspiracies of the magnitude you are describing tend to be very, very rare.

    5) Quote: The homosexuals are indoctrinating your children and making them choose their lifestyle. They can't reproduce so they have no choice BUT to recruit. They are forcing the government to back their behavior with laws... Laws against God and Jesus.
    Like I said above, I am a Christian, too. I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle for the same reasons that you don't agree with it. But I'm also the first person to say, yeah, I've made mistakes in my life, too. I'm no more or less perfect than the very people you want to turn your back to, and neither are you. You say God gave laws prohibiting homosexuality. He also gave laws prohibiting adultery. Do you remember the story in the New Testament where the Pharisees wanted to stone the woman "caught in the act of adultery&quot? Do you remember Jesus' answer? "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

    Now let's take this one step further. What do you think is a Christian's purpose on earth? Somehow I doubt it's to work hard five days a week, sit in a pew on Sunday morning, buy a big house and a nice car and watch the world turn. I suspect it has a little more to do with telling others that they can be freed from the screwed up lives we tend to live when left to our own devices. If that's the case, then do you think someone is going to listen to you if you start out by telling them that, because of their own immorality, funding to cure the disease that is slowly taking their life away should be canceled? How callous is that? On the contrary, I think a true Christian -- someone who really lives the life modeled by Jesus -- would instead be rushing to the sides of the AIDS victims in an attempt to reach them with the gospel before the end of their lives. If researchers can develop a drug to buy you more time to reach such a person, a Christian should be all over that.

    The pastor at my church says you should hate the sin, but never the sinner. That , in my humble opinion, is pretty good logic.
  • by MadHungarian ( 166146 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:19PM (#19808717)
    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.
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @11:03PM (#19809045) Homepage
    No wonder its called Canola oil these days.
  • No, it's not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @12:59AM (#19809795) Journal
    You have to pass all these obstacles:

    - Have an infected partner
    - Have a broken condom
    - Actually contract AIDS from the exposure

    Now in most cases, if you knowingly have encounter the first obstacle and proceed with sex, protected or not, you are knowingly engaging in a heavy risk. Multiple partners of course increases the risk of being unknowingly exposed, so knowing your partner is a bit thing, but adding protection to a known partner does greatly reduce risks.

    99% protection is still pretty damn good if you've got a reliable partner and are practicing good sexual practices/hygiene, although I would personally advocate against promiscuity I have nothing against sex itself. One would hope that having sex weekly for several years, you would have a partner who had been screened against HIV and safe. I'd like to know where you got the 99% number, care to cite your sources and factors?

Truth is free, but information costs.