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Oleocanthal and Osteoarthritis: Combating Degenerative Joint Disease with the Olive Oil Compound

Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of joint disability in adults over sixty-five. This debilitating condition can cause pain, stiffness, inflammation, and decreased mobility and range of motion.

While there are many treatments for osteoarthritis, ranging from physical therapy to surgery, some individuals prefer to explore natural remedies as an alternative. One promising is oleocanthal, a compound found in extra-virgin olive oil.

In this blog from Earthborn Alternatives, we’ll look closely at how oleocanthal can help combat osteoarthritis.

Oleocanthal and Osteoarthritis: Combating Degenerative Joint Disease with the Olive Oil Compound

Table of Contents:

  1. What Is Oleocanthal?

  2. What is Osteoarthritis?

  3. Primary Osteoarthritis: Common Risks

  4. Natural Aging

  5. Genetics

  6. Breaking Down of Cartilage

  7. Joint Injury

  8. Secondary Osteoarthritis and Contributing Factors

  9. How Oleocanthal Can Help Combat Osteoarthritis

  10. Is Oleocanthal Safe?

  11. Conclusion

People Also Ask:

Can olive oil help with osteoarthritis?

Extra virgin olive oil, and its derivative compound, oleocanthal, show great promise for preventing bone cartilage damage due to osteoarthritis. This is because oleocanthal is rich in natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What is oleocanthal good for?

Oleocanthal is reported to promote many modes of action to help reduce inflammation and inflammatory disease such as osteoarthritis.

What Is Oleocanthal?

Oleocanthal is an organic compound found only in extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) that gives the oil its peppery sharpness and bitterness. In addition to its unique flavor, oleocanthal has powerful anti-inflammatory properties known to help reduce the pain and other associated symptoms of osteoarthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative joint disease that only affects the body's joints. OA is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the protective cartilage of bones begins to wear down.

Osteoarthritis is more common in older individuals but can affect people of any age with an injury leading to joint damage.

Common areas affected by osteoarthritis include:

  • Fingers

  • Knees

  • Hips

  • Neck

  • Lower back

There are two types of OA: primary and secondary. While these two forms of osteoarthritis have the same symptoms, they have different causes.

Primary Osteoarthritis: Common Risks

Our joints are exposed to a constant, low level of damage as part of life. Typically, our bodies repair the damage and do not experience any symptoms from the low level of damage.

Because the protective cartilage on the ends of our bones breaks down from osteoarthritis, bony growths can develop in addition to pain and swelling.

While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, there are several things though to increase the risks of developing the condition, such as:

Natural Aging

As with other health concerns, our risk of developing primary osteoarthritis increases with age. Developed OA not accruing from disease or an injury is often the result of natural aging and the wear and tear of our joints.

As we age, the content of water increases in the protective cartilage of our bones. The protein makeup of the cartilage regresses as a result of the process. Eventually, bone cartilage regresses by forming small crevasses or flaking off.

With advanced osteoarthritis, there is a complete loss of the cartilage cushioning the bones of our joints.


Genetics and a family history of developing the condition can imply whether or not you are at risk for developing osteoarthritis. Therefore, OA can result from natural aging, joint injury, and loss of bone cartilage in addition to hereditary factors.

Breaking Down of Cartilage

The loss or breaking down of cartilage leads to painful friction between the bones and reduced joint mobility. Inflammation of the protective cartilage can lead to new bone growths (osteophytes) around the joints.

Joint Injury

When not properly healed, the overusing of joints after an injury or surgery can inflame and irritate the cartilage.

Secondary Osteoarthritis and Contributing Factors

Secondary OA is osteoarthritis caused by certain health conditions or diseases.

Common secondary osteoarthritis contributing factors often include:

  • Obesity

  • Congenital abnormalities (individuals born with abnormally-formed bone joints)

  • Diabetes

  • Gout

  • Repeated surgeries or trauma to joints

How Oleocanthal Can Help Combat Osteoarthritis

Oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties known to work similarly to ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever often used to treat arthritis symptoms. Decades of oleocanthal research show that this compound possesses two key components of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): inhibition of cyclooxygenase pathways and prostaglandin synthesis.

Studies also demonstrate that oleocanthal can reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis without the gastrointestinal side effects that often accompany NSAID use. This evidence makes oleocanthal a desirable option for those who experience adverse reactions to medications.

Many professionals in the medical and nutritional community highly suggest consuming oleocanthal regularly. Why? Because oleocanthal is natural and is part of a large family of organic compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that act as powerful antioxidants in our bodies.

The polyphenol known as oleocanthal helps protect cells from damage and can inhibit the growth of enzymes COX-1 and COX -2.

These are the two types of enzymes known to produce lipids that promote inflammation and pain.

Is Oleocanthal Safe?

It is! As long as the oleocanthal you’re taking is derived from pure, 100% extra-virgin olive oil. At Earthborn Alternatives, we provide oleocanthal supplements in capsule form using only the high-quality EVOO available.

While oleocanthal appears safe when recommended, everyone’s body is different and may react differently to dietary supplements. It’s essential to consult with your doctor beforehand.


Osteoarthritis can be difficult to manage, but research suggests that oleocanthal can help relieve its symptoms. By harmful enzyme activity and acting as an antioxidant, the compound can help reduce inflammation and protect against further oxidative damage.

If you are looking for an alternative way to combat your degenerative joint disease, consider adding oleocanthal to your dietary routine today!

Would you like to learn more?

Contact our Oleocanthal providers and experts today to get started!

Click here to get your own bottle of Oleocanthal supplements from our

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