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Lynn Shapiro, Writer | October 02, 2009

He says, "If antibody treatment for AD is enhanced by olecanthal, the anti-toxic and immunological effects of the compound may lead to a successful treatment for an incurable disease. Only clinical trials will tell for sure,"

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Breslin would like to pursue clinical studies and currently is seeking collaborators from the pharmaceutical industry to address long-term health benefits.

He says that that he and colleagues are trying to get a use patent on the olive oil substance, which is also good for heart attack, stroke, several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. (However, Breslin says, another substance in olive oil, rather than oleocanthal, may be responsible for these beneficial effects).

Currently, he says, companies producing olive oil are interested in touting oleocanthal's effects. And food companies are also intrigued by the compound's sensory properties, as it makes a good spice.

It has a back of the throat irritation also found in naproxen and ibuprofen, Breslin says.

Breslin concludes that future studies that identify more precisely how oleocanthal changes ADDL structure may increase understanding of the pharmacological actions of oleocanthal, ibuprofen and other structurally related plant compounds. Such insights could lead to disease prevention and treatment, he says.

The findings are reported in the October 15 issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

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