Can Phenolic Compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil be beneficial for patients with Chronic lymphocytic leukemia?

World Olive Center for Health (WOCH), a non-profit organization based in Athens Greece, announces a breakthrough in understanding the effect of specific phenolic compounds in olive oil on CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia)

The randomized Pilot Study with human volunteers was a collaboration between Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Melliou from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and WOCH, Dr. Andrea Paola Rojas from the Univ. of Peloponnese, Dr. Kodonis at Hospital of Lakonia and their research teams.

Dr. Eleni Melliou pointed out: “It is the first time that we were able to show that oral administration of a daily dose of 25 mg oleocanthal and oleacein through the consumption of 40 mL of EVOO could be beneficial for CLL patients, reducing white blood cell count, inducing the apoptosis of their cancer cells, and improving the metabolism of the patients.”

Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Melliou initiated the study after receiving feedback from people suffering with CLL claiming their white blood cell count declined after beginning to consume olive oil rich in oleocanthal and oleacein.

WOCH funded this study from income entirely derived from membership fees and from analyzing phenolic concentrations in olive oil using quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (qNMR) and private donations. The qNMR method was developed in 2012 by Magiatis/Melliou and their team of researchers at the Univ. of Athens. 

This human volunteer pilot study trial consisted of 22 patients diagnosed with early-stage CLL under medical supervision. Their white blood cell was rising but were under no medication. The results were recently published in the respected medical journal Frontiers in Oncology

“One of our main targets was to investigate the hypothesis that the biological activity of olive oil against cancer is related to its content, in specific phenolic ingredients and especially in oleocanthal and oleacein, as we had recently shown for the inhibition of platelet aggregation ( and for the improvement of cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment (” Magiatis explained.

The complex mechanisms regarding the progression of CLL disease appear to benefit from the anticancer properties of the phenolic compounds, oleocanthal and/or oleacein. 

Dr Paola Rojas clarified: “The results of this pilot study should not be used as a proof of efficacy but as a proof that the study can and is worthy to be expanded to a multi-center larger trial.”

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