Extra-virgin olive oil can protect the liver from oxidative stress. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism exposed rats to a moderately toxic herbicide known to deplete antioxidants and cause oxidative stress, finding that those rats fed on a diet containing the olive oil were partially protected from the resulting liver damage.
Speaking about the results, Hammami said, "The hydrophilic fraction of olive oil seems to be the effective one in reducing toxin-induced oxidative stress, indicating that hydrophilic extract may exert a direct antioxidant effect on hepatic cells. However, more detailed studies about the effect of antioxidant compounds separately and/or their interactions are necessary to substantiate these observations".(EurikAlert!/October 2010)