Ibuprofen, along with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), often saves the day when experiencing a plethora of ailments. It is a quick and easy solution that masks symptoms and temporarily eases discomfort. While the need for ibuprofen in an emergency is unquestionable, there is increasing research suggesting the long-term risks associated with overconsumption of these painkillers.
the risks of ibuprofen
While an occasional painkiller will pose minimal threat to your health, the average adult surpasses the maximum recommended daily dosage. One study found that one in five users of NSAIDs exceeds the maximum suggested dosage over a one-week period.
Another survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that one in twenty adults take at least six painkillers a day every time they are feeling ill and an average of three hundred and seventy-three pills each year.
The overconsumption of these drugs can pose dangers to the heart, kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract, but most worrisome are the risks associated with the heart. Studies have found that high doses of NSAIDs increased the risk of a heart attack by one-third, and ibuprofen doubled the risk of cardiac arrest.
High doses of painkillers also increased the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding threefold compared to that of subjects who did not take painkillers. In one controlled study, bleeding was detected in one otherwise healthy individual within three days of starting an ibuprofen regimen.
Individuals with chronic pain, such as arthritis, are often prescribed NSAIDs on an as-needed basis. For these reasons, it is crucial to be aware of the risks associated with frequent usage before relying on these painkillers daily.
Our founder, David, even experienced a stomach ulcer and internal bleeding at the young age of fifteen after a doctor had instructed him to take four ibuprofen every day for a month to relieve pain from a minor sports injury. Unfortunately, he was never informed about the potential complications that could arise from overusing NSAIDs.
a natural antidote
High-quality EVOO that is optimally harvested should contain an abundance of polyphenols. One especially prominent polyphenol is the molecule oleocanthal. This powerful antioxidant is what causes olive oil’s famous peppery “sting” as it hits the back of the throat.
That peppery sting is a sign of the purest of olive oils. It's also the distinct characteristic that led American scientist Dr. Gary Beauchamp to recognize olive oil for its incredible anti-inflammatory effects.
Beauchamp was working on a case relating to liquid ibuprofen, which likewise produces a stinging sensation as it glides down the throat; his job was to discover why this was and how to improve the taste.
On a trip to Italy, along with other scientists and food specialists, Beauchamp attended an olive oil tasting where he learned the correct way to “taste” olive oil. When he slurped the EVOO as instructed, he instantly felt a strong stinging sensation—just like liquid ibuprofen.
Beauchamp brought a pint of olive oil back home to the US and began investigating its stinging properties. He called this unique organic compound “oleocanthal,” derived from the Latin oleo (meaning “olive”), canth (“sting”), and al (indicating an aldehyde compound).
Researchers concluded that oleocanthal possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen.
While EVOO cannot completely replace NSAIDs, we love natural remedies that provide our bodies with an extra health boost when needed. High quality EVOO offers abundant medicinal properties derived straight from the earth, which is why our mission at Zimms Organics is to offer simple, varied ways for you to incorporate this superfood into your routine and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
At Zimms, we intentionally source a high-phenolic EVOO packed with antioxidants that can help boost your health and reduce inflammation. Our two varieties of olive oil come from only the finest olives in the US. So next time you're experiencing some sort of discomfort, rather than reaching for an NSAID, experiment with an olive oil shot instead!