A HOSPITAL in the Andalucian town of Jaen is trialing a revolutionary tablet containing one of Spain’s most synonymous products against the symptoms of COVID-19.
The University Hospital of Jaen is testing the effects of a new treatment containing olive polyphenols, a key chemical ingredient in olive oil.
A team of researchers are testing the new treatment on a group of 60 volunteers over the age of 50 that have been admitted to the hospital with mild symptoms of COVID-19.
The idea is to examine the effects of the olive polyphenols on reducing symptoms in the early stages of the virus, and determining whether it will stem the progress of symptoms before they reach a severe level.
During the trial, the patients will still be treated with the standard COVID-19 treatments, but will be given the new tablets every eight hours for a three week period.
The tablets, branded under the name Alyvium, contain polyphenols, as well as natural flavonoids, vitamin A, riboflavin and biotin, and contain the name nutrients as around 15-20 olives.
Dr Carmen Herrero Rodríguez, researcher at the the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Unit, is pleased with the early results the new supplements are showing.
“Thanks to intense research work with authorised trials, we now have drugs that have managed to reduce mortality in our patients.”
“We think that the administration of the nutritional supplement can be beneficial for COVID-19 patients who are showing certain symptoms.”
The team, consisting of Rodriguez, alongside Sergio Granados, Carmen Herrero, Carolina Alarcón, Esther Ocaña and Justo Martínez, have long understood the scientific benefits that virgin, and extra virgin olive oil has on the human body.
Most notably the oxidants and natural anti-inflammatories found in olive oil have shown a dramatic effect in the reduction of heart disease.
A study conducted by the Predimed organisation showed that a sample of 2,500 patients who were exposed to the ‘Mediterranean diet’ showed a 30% decrease in heart disease compared to a similarly sized group that was not.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has also regularly expressed their support for the key Spanish export, claiming that: “there is a well-established cause-effect relationship between olive oil polyphenol consumption and protection from oxidative damage”.
The new treatment will now go to higher medical organisations for further testing before it will be made available to the common market.
A group of 60 researchers from across Spain have drawn up a manifesto to be presented to the general medical board for evaluation and certification.