Extra virgin olive oil and the digestive system
Extra virgin olive oil is an easily digestible food.
From the studies carried out mainly in France it is possible to document how it facilitates the gastric emptying time and enhances the tone of the oesophagus-gastric valve by preventing oesophageal reflux. The stomach benefits from its intake, especially when there is an irritative state that is immediately mitigated.
A protective action has also been demonstrated against gastro-duodenal ulcers. The intestine receives a beneficial stimulating action that can also be exploited as a mildly laxative effect, finding an indication as a regulator of intestinal atonies of senile age and in the spastic forms of the irritable colon. The gallbladder is physiologically activated in both contraction and emptying.
It has been hypothesized that this activity is linked to the high presence of oleic acid, but the action of some minor components cannot be excluded. However, there is no doubt about this activity, which remains unchanged even after the oil has been subjected to frying. In fact, extra virgin olive oil has been repeatedly recommended in the treatment of cholecystopathies and cholecystoctomised subjects.
The cholecystokinetic action of extra virgin olive oil, in addition to improving the functionality of the biliary vesicle, also accounts for a good emulsifiability of the oil itself which facilitates the attack of pancreatic lipases favouring digestion and intestinal absorption.