The Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Arthritis Management

August 2023

Extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO for short), is a natural oil made from the juice of olives, which are fruits from olive trees commonly found in the Mediterranean region.

EVOO is known for its smooth and fruity taste, fragrant smell, and beautiful golden color. It's not just delicious; it also has special health benefits.

In this article, we dive into the incredible world of EVOO and its promising benefits for arthritis management.

roasted vegetables, salad, smoked salmon on a charcuterie board

EVOO may be able to help reduce symptoms and improve the overall quality of the diet in people with arthritis.

Olive oil is largely made up of omega-9 fatty acids also known as oleic acid which is a healthy monounsaturated fat. Oleic acid can also help with controlling blood cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure. 

EVOO is not only packed with oleic acid, it also has lots of other good things like polyphenols, and antioxidants. These help make your body healthier and can be especially helpful if you have arthritis.

Here Is How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help With Arthritis:

#1. Fights Inflammation

EVOO is full of polyphenols which can help fight inflammation. They way polyphenols do this is by reducing the activity of enzymes that are involved in the inflammatory process. Polyphenols also help reduce pain and swelling in arthritic joints. This is important because arthritis can cause swelling and pain in your joints. EVOO can help calm that down.

#2. Protects Your Joints

Some forms of arthritis can affect the cartilage in between our joints and cause pain. Research has shown that EVOO is packed full of antioxidants, such as vitamin-E and phenolic compounds, that can help reduce cartilage degeneration. This is done by neutralising harmful free radicals and supporting collagen synthesis - a pivotal cartilage-building block.

#3. Diminished Disease Activity

New studies are showing that EVOO may help reduce the overall disease activity in arthritis. One study found that regular EVOO consumption may reduce inflammation levels in synovial cells (that produce synovial fluid) of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The polyphenols in EVOO could be the reason as they seem to fight against a main cause of arthritis inflammation. 

#4. Enhanced Bone Health

If you have been told to watch your bone health from the doctor due to a higher risk of osteoporosis. EVOO contains a compound called oleuropein, which may have a role in promoting bone formation and prevent bone loss. Animal studies have shown that this compound in EVOO, may have a role in strengthening bones which could supposedly help prevent fractures associated with arthritis. It is certainly a space to watch as the research progresses!

Incorporating EVOO Into Your Lifestyle:

Embracing EVOO in your arthritis management plan can be both delightful and effective. Here's how to harness its goodness:

  • Dip and Drizzle: Use EVOO as a dipping sauce for bread or a drizzle over salads. It adds a flavourful twist while delivering its health benefits.
  • Cooking Companion: EVOO can be used for sautéing, roasting, and grilling. It imparts a rich taste to your dishes while infusing them with its health benefits.
  • Daily Dose: Aim for a daily consumption of 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO. The shelf life of freshly produced EVOO can range between 18 and 30 months. However, it is best consumed within 12 months from the date of harvest.
  • Quality Matters: Opt for high-quality, authentic EVOO. Look for labels that indicate "Extra Virgin" and check for dark, opaque glass bottles to preserve freshness.

Here’s a recipe you might love to try if you are excited to try EVOO

Tomato and mozzarella salad served with fresh basil and drizzled with EVOO

  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 45g mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup minced fresh basil

More Information and Support


  • Puel, C., Mathey, J., Agalias, A., Kati-Coulibaly, S., Mardon, J., Obled, C., … & Coxam, V. (2006). Dose–response study of effect of oleuropein, an olive oil polyphenol, in an ovariectomy/inflammation experimental model of bone loss in the rat. Clinical Nutrition, 25(5), 859-868.
  • Serreli, G., & Deiana, M. (2020). Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols: Modulation of Cellular Pathways Related to Oxidant Species and Inflammation in Aging. Cells, 9(2), 478.
  • Nediani, C., Ruzzolini, J., Romani, A., & Calorini, L. (2019). Oleuropein, a Bioactive Compound from Olea europaea L., as a Potential Preventive and Therapeutic Agent in Non-Communicable Diseases. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(12), 578.

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