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Unexpected Side Effects of Olive Oil

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Just so you know, olive is a tree. People extract the oil from the fruit and seeds, water extracts of the fruit and the leaves in order to make medicine. It has benefits aplenty for instance, olive oil is used to prevent heart attack and stroke (cardiovascular disease), breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headache.

Some people use olive oil to treat constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood vessel problems associated with diabetes, and pain associated ear infections, arthritis, and gallbladder disease. Olive oil is also used to remedy jaundice, intestinal gas, and meteorism (swelling of the abdomen due to gas). It is also used to annihilate the bacteria that may cause some ulcers.

How Does it Work?

Olive oil is applied on the skin for various purposes: earwax, ringing ears (tinnitus), pain in the ears, lice, wounds, minor burns, psoriasis, stretch marks due to pregnancy, eczema, ringworm, and for protecting the skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage after sun exposure. In the mouth, it is used to cure gum disease.

Fatty acids in olive oil seem to reduce cholesterol levels and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Olive leaf and olive oil might lower blood pressure. Olive might also be able to kill microbes, such as bacteria and fungus.

Uses of Olive Oil

Olive oil is most likely to be effective for the following:

Breast Cancer

People who consume more olive oil in their diet seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

Research suggests that people who consume more olive oil in their diet have a lower risk of getting plagued by colorectal cancer.


People who eat greater amounts of olive oil say, about 15-20 grams per day, are at a lower risk of developing diabetes. Eating more than 20 grams per day does not have any additional benefit. Research also shows that olive oil can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Olive oil in a Mediterranean-type diet might also reduce the risk of “hardening of the arteries” in comparison to polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower oil in people with diabetes.

High Cholesterol

Using olive oil in the diet rather than saturated fat can reduce total cholesterol levels in people suffering from high cholesterol. However, research indicates other dietary oils such as sunflower and rapeseed (canola) might reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and another type of cholesterol called apolipoprotein B better than olive oil.

Heart Disease

Using olive oil in your diet in place of saturated fats is a key to lessen the risk of heart disease and stroke, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Adding olive oil to the diet can help prevent a first heart attack and reduces death due to the same.

Other Benefits

It helps to treat the following:

  • Eczema
  • Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) Infection
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Gum
  • Stretch Marks

Side Effects of Olive Oil

Excessive use causes Acne

Olive oil does not absorb into your skin instantly; a thick layer develops on the skin, thereby clogging the pores. Thus if you frequently apply it on your skin, it turns into an adhesive surface, which traps all the dirt and dust into it. This then invariably leads in the appearance of unwanted acne and pimples.

Can Cause Rashes

Oily skin is the result of an uninhibited secretion of sebum. When olive oil is coupled with your naturally greasy skin, it can cause severe irritation, rashes, and redness on your skin.

Saturated Fat related Diseases

Needless to mention, olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat. One tablespoon of this oil contains about 14% saturated fat and 120 calories. This is a significant amount. Regular, unmoderated consumption of unprocessed olive oil can increase the risks of fatal diseases like atherosclerosis, obesity, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, and colon cancer.

Trans Fat related Diseases

Olive oil is often refined under high heat and pressure. This process changes its molecular structure, resulting in the burning of omega-3 fatty acid that olives contain. It also affects the cholesterol levels in our bloodstream by decreasing ‘good cholesterol’ and increasing the ‘bad’ one. Thus, there is always a risk of catching any of the cardiovascular diseases.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Olive oil keeps one fit and healthy; it ensures the well-being of your heart. But, studies have found that over-consumption of olive oil can cause a huge drop in the blood pressure. It is detrimental to our overall health as we become vulnerable to many problems owing to the low blood pressure like dizziness, lightheadedness, stroke, and kidney failure.

Causes Inflammation

Rich in fat, olive oil increases the chances of developing inflammation in our body. It contains a high amount of oleic acid which plays a major role in releasing the lipopolysaccharides (LPS), in addition to the large fat-rich lipoprotein particles called chylomicrons, from the gut into the bloodstream. The more the LPS present in the blood, the higher the inflammation caused by the immune cells. Additionally, olive oil also promotes higher levels of markers, like inflammatory cytokines, that can be majorly associated with chronic inflammation.

Can Cause Diarrhea

Due to the high-fat content of olive oil, you may fall prey to digestive disorders and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. The strong laxative properties of olive oil. Are not unknown. So when we consume it in exorbitant amounts, our system is not able to digest it completely. As a result, we develop minor to moderate diarrhea.

Lowers Blood Sugar

This oil can lower your blood sugar below the normal level. Olive oil makes way for increased insulin resistance; that is the main reason for its activity against blood sugar levels. Overconsumption can make you prone to several health complications, like hypoglycemia, sweating, trembling, weakness, etc.

Gallbladder Stones

This is one of the most dangerous side effects of olive oil. You should not be consuming too much olive oil as it may block the gallbladder or cause painful gallstones. Our liver produces bile, which is accumulated inside the gallbladder. But when our body carries excess fat, and we include olive oil in our daily diet, this stored bile starts to secrete and emulsify the fats, ultimately leading to stones or blockage.

High On Calories

Unnecessary weight gain is one of the main side effects of too much olive oil consumption.
Olive oil, just like all other oils and fats, is a principal source of calories. You will be surprised to know that every 16 ounce of olive oil contains calories that are equal to your two days of calorie requirement (4,000 per pound); far more than even refined sugar (1,725 calories per pound).
This is why you should never cook your whole course meal in olive oil. Drizzling on top of your meals, of course, is a safer option.


The aforementioned side effects are dangerous enough for you to be wary of olive oil. Not that you must shun it entirely, using it as mildly as possible can be a better option. In case of allergies, steer clear of it completely. No doubt, it has a wide range of uses but all comes to naught if not consumed in an extremely restrained manner.

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