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Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Helping My Ulcerative Colitis

recent picture of Graham


I’m Graham from South East England, 40 years old and diagnosed with proctitis then UC over 10 years ago. I didn’t make the connection at the time but this illness made itself known to me shortly after quitting smoking. This story may sound hard to believe but I’ve had a massive breakthrough and I hope it works for you too…

Colitis Symptoms:

I am almost symptom free for a whole year and still pinching myself!

I Never Really Thought It Could Work But It Did:

I was lead to research by reading a tiny article in the newspaper, though being a UC sufferer for 10 years made me very skeptical and so I didn’t do anything with this information for 3 months! Until recently, smoking was the only thing that seemed to kept me well but 1 year ago I developed a nasty cough so decided to go with the articles advice.

I quit smoking and ever since have taken 3 daily table/desert spoons of extra virgin olive oil! If you check out this link:

(it will explain in brief about the research undertaken by Dr Hart)

I used to smoke at least 4-5 a day, I gave up 4 or 5 times over 10 years but always resumed after 3-4 weeks when symptoms got so bad. Like many I am sure, I had become increasingly saddened by the lack of progress in treating UC and regularly frustrated by our NHS. So I resorted to doing my own internet based research, conducting my own crude trials.

In very simple terms I will explain the understanding of my Ulcerative Colitis and maybe why the olive oil seems to be so beneficial. Whenever I stopped smoking, I almost immediately felt bloated, suffered disgusting wind and within a few days would wake every morning with stomach pain. After 2 – 4 weeks the diarrhea/blood would start and I would have to resume smoking so that I could continue my driving job. During this period I noticed that in the first few days I had stopped going to the toilet (2’s) regularly and once the flare up really kicked in I then couldn’t stop going.

Some research says that smoking or nicotine produces mucus in the bowel, thus coating, lining and lubricating the bowel. This would also explain why removing nicotine seems to stop the regular “motions” and block everything. My longest success (previous to this one) lasted 6 weeks and was achieved using 15mg nicotine patches. At six weeks the symptoms were too much to tolerate and resumed smoking once again.

It has now been a whole year without any nicotine at all and no medication, just 3 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil per day. 1 first thing, 1 in the afternoon and 1 before bed. After all the previous attempts and the usual immediate problems, this level of progress was unthinkable to me. I have gained 20 pounds and no longer get called names associated with weight loss.

I am not suggesting this will cure me as I believe UC is always there and simply masked by smoking or other means of controlling the symptoms.

I know I have wandered off here slightly but that’s the short version of a long story which I sincerely hope will help others.

Where I’d like to be in 1 year:

Where I am now.

Colitis Medications:

If it also helps I have found that lactose free milk and a daily probiotic seem to help.

written by Graham

submitted in the colitis venting area


(*** Graham has since written an updated story all about EVOO here :

olive oil

534 Responses to Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Helping My Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Graham from England
    graham lee July 13, 2014 at 4:25 am #


    The NHS is the UK’s “free at the point of use” health service.

    If your blood is mainly in the water and not so much mixed in the stool it may suggest your inflammation is toward the end of your colon. I believe this is where it mostly begins and then spreads further up. You may be better off with a suppository in this case should you want to try the medications to help you get on top of this.

    I did say not to try too much at once and this recommendation is well versed here. My inflammation is always toward the end of my colon and the Evoo works well, 3 times a day we’ll before food and last thing at night.

    I’m not an expert on diet, this is only something I’ve slowly progressed with recently. Alcohol is a well know antagonist and should be avoided, red meat is hard to digest though not everyone agrees with that. Raw foods can be healthy but I understand they should well cooked during a flare. Replace the vegetable oil’s which are also in many processed foods as these are inflammatory. Sugar and the hidden ones from refined carbs should be reduced. You still need fat so try and get this from fish, Evoo and other natural foods, I personally like grass fed butter (butyrate acid). Don’t be afraid to add good fats if you do drop the sugar and refined carbs as your body still needs fuel. Many here take a vitamin D supplement, this is standard for most inflammatory conditions.

    Demulcent foods help some during flares as the are more gentle on the digestive system. I don’t know much on the dairy/grains area though many of us are lactose intolerant and I have e benefited from using lactose free milk.

    Would anyone please feel free to add dietary advice to this….

  2. shelly in maine July 13, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Chad…whoa…slow down…1 thing you will learn is that UC is a marathon NOT a sprint even though blood makes us panic. This is a life long venture that will teach you more about your body, being healthy, eating healthy, being your own dietician, Dr.,etc. Also, you will need a lot of patience. UC is different for everyone, but like Graham said there are some basics including diet…look into SCD lots of info from other on this site. The more natural the better. The other important thing that I should have commented sooner is like Graham said add as few things to try as possible at once, preferable 1 other wise you will not only know what doesn’t work, but also what does! Just because things are natural does not exclude them from having side effects..aloe for example can cause the same things you are trying to fix.

    So take a deep breath. Keep a journal of what you’ve tried and how long, bm’s, etc. You haven’t mentioned bm’s just bleeding? It is all very overwhelming, but you’ve come to the right place!

    Hang in there! Breathe and welcome to the road to better health! Shelly

  3. Graham from England
    graham lee July 13, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Great comment from Bev and Shelly, thanks for the contributions and continued support!

    Think we forgot to mention Adam’s work on the importance of sleep and recovery. Most of this health stuff is common sense but rarely gets passed down, particularly in detached family’s of the western world!

    • bev July 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Gosh, yes Graham, that’s so right! Sleep, sleep, sleep. I too forget to mention that most important thing almost always.

      It does wonders.


  4. chad July 22, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    I am currently trying una de gato. It’s supposedly a miracle herb from the amazon jungle. My wife is from Peru, and her mother brought me some when she came to visit. I’m taking it as a tea. We’ll see what happens…

  5. Graham from England
    graham lee August 31, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    Extensive article on Lipids in health… Phosphatidylcholine, Oleic Acid, Marine Fatty Acids..

  6. Joanna January 26, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    Hi.. I am so down with my symptoms – done all the diets and recently tried food combining too – yet still so much blood and now losing control of the bowel again and having embarrassing accidents. I am trying everything L-glutamine – mesalazine – prednisolone suppository, cod liver oil and marshmallows – astaxanthine – even messaged my nurse to see if I could go back on prednisolone today for a while. Willing to try anything – I just wondered Graham if you could let me know the brand of EVOO you are buying in the UK? Apologies if this has been mentioned before but it’s a really long thread. xx Hoping something can help soon

  7. Graham from England
    Graham January 26, 2015 at 7:08 am #

    Hi Joanna,

    Im sorry to hear that you are struggling at the moment..

    Its a great oil and I can’t believe it’s only £4 for 500ml.. Marks & Spencer Italian extra virgin, “fruity with a peppery finish”. I have a picture of the bottle which I cant place here. It is on my Twitter pictures @realslimshakey

    15ml, 3 times a day and before food..

    I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!

  8. Graham from England
    Graham Lee January 26, 2015 at 7:59 am #

    Also Joanna,

    This article relates to sulphites and provides a very plausible explanation of our specific situation with UC.

  9. Joanna January 27, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    Thankyou so much x

    • Graham from England
      Graham January 27, 2015 at 2:47 am #

      My pleasure, please let us know of any improvements or otherwise…

  10. maz February 17, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Hi, I am having a bad flare up and passing blood at the moment. I’m currently taking mezalazine and I’m going to give the extra olive oil a try.. can you tell me when you take it? Do you have a spoon full just before you eat?

  11. Graham from England
    graham lee February 17, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    Hi Maz,

    It is much more effective before food than after food. I take 1 spoon as the very 1st thing I do, 2nd before lunch and 3rd is last thing before I go to bed. Please let us know how you get on..

  12. Abe A April 4, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    I have currently been taking extra virgin olive oil 2 to 3 times per day for the past three weeks. I haven’t seen any noticeable improvements but I’m hopeful. How long did it take you to see substantial improvement.?

  13. Graham from England
    Graham April 4, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Hello Abe,

    It works best to prevent or reverse a mild flare but it should be helping by now. Are you happy that the oil provides the throat irritation and is of at least reasonable quality. Also works best 15 ml morning , noon before food and last thing at night.

  14. kay May 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Hi Graham,
    I am glad that olive oil worked for you. When you were healed by it did you do any special diet, such as eating a lot of vegetables, or eating less meat and daily foods?
    I cured my ulcerative colitis doing Reiki, Qi-ong and special diet such as eating twice a day and eating a lot of vegetables, no wheat and no daily foods.
    Please let me know if you did any special.


  15. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 18, 2015 at 3:18 am #

    Hi Kay,
    My colon was kept healthy from smoking and then I substituted cigarettes for EVOO. I would usually flare within a few weeks after quitting but the oil gave me 14 months without any problems. Strangely, the 1st time I tried this my diet was terrible throughout and yet since making improvements my non smoking/EVOO combination is only providing around 6 months without a flare. This is still great and progress that I never could have anticipated.

    I now sleep better with restrictions on coffee, red meat, sulphites, sugar and omega 6. More vegetables, fruit, A2 milk, vit D/B12 yet the only noticeable benefit is from the oil and slightly from B12.

  16. kay May 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Thank you for quick reply!!

    2009 when I was diagnosed as UC at the first time, the researchers were looking for volunteers who had UC. It was about B12. At that time my medicine worked perfect, so I did not apply for that.
    I don’t know what kind of result the researchers found.

    Do you take B12 from supplyment? If so, how much?
    Is there any special reason that you do not take omega 6??


  17. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 21, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Hi Kay,

    As far as I know Omega 6 is inflammatory but mainly due to so many processed foods that have it hidden inside. So simply choosing good fats, yes even saturated fat in their more original state should address this. It’s worth looking at the omega 3 omega 6 ratio and how the imbalance of an industrial diet relates this to so many diseases. My diet is almost 60% fat yet my cholesterol is excellent.

    I take a daily B12 complex supplement. Since suffering auto immune spinal cord damage due to an extended flare or medication, I’ve had even greater symptoms of B12 deficiency. Fatigue, muscle wastage and so on, I have started this on 2 occasions and felt better so now continue with it. What I found interesting is that the left side of the UC colon is most commonly damaged and this area absorbs Thiamine. So we are most likely already deficient, alcoholics do not absorb Thiamine well either and what were occasional terrible hangovers are also much better since taking the supplement.

  18. kay May 21, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    I was studying about oil and found that most of oil are made unnatural ways.

    I am using flax-seed oil to maintain my stomach inflammation. It works very well.
    Because of this oil the balance of my Omega 3 and Omega 6 is very good. How do you take Omega 3??

    ” My diet is almost 60% fat ” Wow! When you mentioned that you recommended 12g of EVOO three times per day, I calculated how much it will be for total. 36g. If you eat other foods, fat will be more.

    May I ask you how many grams of oil do you take every day?

    I have another question.

    The small intestine absorbs fat.
    A lot of EVOO works for UC.

    Does it mean the small intestine cannot absorb all EVOO, so un-absorbed oil goes into the large intestine and heals inflammation?

    People said when they eat oily food, their symptoms became worse.
    I was wondering why the small intestine did not absorb those fat? Do their intestine have some functioning problems because of UC, or is it natural that excess fat goes into the large intestine and goes out of body?

    When I was reading about B12 and Thiamine, I realized you went to through really hard time. I am so glad you are now healthy. Thank you for supporting people with Adam!

  19. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Hi Kay,

    Yes I think most people would be surprised if they knew how their oil came to be. EVOO has this problem too so my tips for obtaining the good stuff are worth a read.

    I take Omega 3 from lots of eggs, walnuts and eating fish almost every day.

    I am now trying SCD to reverse a tiny flare instead of using cigarettes. I used to try and get my calories high enough to not lose weight and it broke down to 60% fat, 18 protein and 22 carbs. It even shocked me but I imagine most on SCD would be close to this and a ketonic diet should not be feared in my opinion.

    I take 3 tablespoons of oil in a day and any other fat in my food. This works out around 15ml each dose and still less than the average Greek (at 60ml).

    Unfortunately I dont know how the oil is absorbed. The fact that it works best before food (and not with) may suggest your theory is correct though still just one of the reasons as it has more than one role in my opinion. It may calm any immune response that is usually triggered by our food. It is also anti bacterial and anti viral which would suggest a positive relationship with our gut bacteria. I wish I had more help with this.

    Kind words Kay so thank you, IBD family ❤️

  20. Graham from England
    Graham Lee May 22, 2015 at 12:14 am #

    Sorry Ketogenic

  21. Mk November 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    Hi Graham,

    Your story and various posts have given me hope – Thank you !!

    I have been just diagnosed with colitis in the rectum and lower bowl and I am miserable. I live in London (thus I’m glad you recommend M&S Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

    I had blood diarrhea for almost 8 weeks (almost 9 BM a day) whilst waiting for my local hospital to give me a referral. Eventually I went to a private consultation with a Gastroenteritis (I haven’t been working for the last 5 months so not an easy decision).

    I was booked into to have a colonoscopy but I was rushed to hospital a&e with agonising kidney pain. I spent a week on a IV drip, had a colonoscopy there and now I’m home on steroids for the last 2 weeks – Perdinsone 30mg, Mezavant 4.8g, Asocal sapositories 500mg and omeprazole.

    I restarted smoking 10 a day as I used to use ecigs for the last 2 years and I’m miserable.

    I am seeing an improvement as the BM is down to 1 a day but having side effects. I asked the Gastroenteritis about Extra Virgin Olive Oil. She said it helps reduce inflammation in the bowl /colon and recommended me to use it.

    I’m currently finishing off a old bottle of Asda’s for lunch/dinner. I did try a spoonful on empty stomach but got cramps so had to stop.

    I researched curry is good for UC sufferers (not restaurant stuff) as I am bored of living off bananas, cornflakes, toast, egg, white rice and mash potatoes for the last 8 weeks.

    I would be grateful for any advice or tips.

  22. Graham from England
    Graham November 22, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Hi Mk,

    Kind words thank you.

    Though you didn’t need it in the end the private GI was a good shout. The world comes here for our NHS but it doesn’t have consistent quality and I really have to wonder how ill you need to be before you receive proper care. Good to hear an EVOO endorsement from a healthcare professional.

    If you definitely get cramps after EVOO then I would leave it or try again another time. You can rely on the M&S “fruity and peppery” as I have had it tested. I noticed Omeprazole, why was that? If you have bloating or constipation the oil is good.

    The smoking then only EVOO has given me life and retained my colon for all these years. It looks like all of my troubles were due to a hookworm infection though not out of the woods yet. This would explain how for me at least hardly anything I did dietary made any real difference. Perhaps I am not the best person to ask re diet, however, I would suggest it’s the various medication that makes you feel bad. Though it takes someone brave or even foolish to stop them without a good alternative plan along with bring prepared for a decline.

    How long have you been smoking? Did this begin after quitting? If these improvements have been a week or two after smoking then I would continue, just get well first and foremost. I took my life back with cigarettes every time except one and that went quite badly but it is ultimately your decision.

    • Mk November 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi Graham,

      Good idea about leaving the EVOO till things settle. The omeprazol was for my stomach lining because the steroids attack the lining of the stomach and increases acid.

      I was a smoking for 10 years plus, then quit for 2 years then restarted with electric Cigs for the last 2 years. (Personally I think ecigs have something to do with this but I have no evidence to support this)

      All was well until Friday when I found some blood in my stool. It really upset me and me worry for the last 3 days.

      Something interesting, when I was in hospital one of the first things they tested me for was paracites.

      What’s your diet like now?

  23. Graham from England
    Graham November 24, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    My brother takes Omeprazole and he burned beyond the throat when he tried Oil for his arthritis. He gave up too soon IMO, a teaspoon may also be a better introduction. Oleocanthal means olive sting so if that area it particularly sensitive it may do this even if it is healing.

    For me the E cigs help only a little, like a patch. In one pre EVOO test, patches extended the post smoking flare from 3 to 6 weeks. E cigs and patches always take your UC downhill, even if more slowly.

    A statement about parasites/IBD suggests nothing I did with diet would make much difference which is what I found. I tried them all, SCD, elimination but ended up on a Mediterranean diet purely from a “health of my body” point of view. The only thing that definitely helped was avoiding lactose which was also recently confirmed with a test at the hospital. One regimen I have read for both UC and parasites is plain chicken/fish, brown rice and well boiled carrots. Interestingly there are many crossovers between home UC treatments and parasite ones.

    Wow you had a parasite test, how I wish I had one of those many years ago! However so many are reported to be negative even when positive. One thing apparently reliable for parasite tests is eosinophil count which is always high in their presence.

    I will do a post on this subject once the end game is complete (I hope).

    One thing that has me very excited is the smoking, parasite relationship. It appears that smokers may be more susceptible to parasites even though smoking does limit their numbers.

    A study that looked into post treatment and subsequent reinfection rates found a low Th2 immune response was to blame. This is what can kill them off before they establish. Smoking reduces Th2 response so possibly opens the door. Once the hookworm is present your body’s Th2 response is increased. UC is heavily related to a high Th2 response and when you quit it is likely the balance between smoking and raised Th2 is lost.

    Parasites can cause inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract.

  24. Mk November 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Wow I had no idea about the parasite UC link. One thing I did forget to mention was the IBD nurse saying to me to invest in probiotics – VCL#3, she said many of her patients had noticed improvement since taking this.

    Currently I am using EVOO on my lunch and dinner and so far no cramps. It’s only when I take it on its own on an empty stomach.

    I also did a bit of Googing on probiotics and paracites, it seems that they help kill them off.

    I am really suspicious about the whole ecigs and nicotine replacement with regards to colitis thus I am really glad you told me that they are not as effective as normal cigarettes.

    When I was admitted to a&e with blood diarrhea they thought it could have been an infection so they tested me for paracites.

    I have some friends who I studied with at uni who are now junior doctors with some becoming GPS – it’s surprising how little they know about UC and paracites.

  25. Graham from England
    Graham November 25, 2015 at 6:21 am #

    You are right, as I have only recently found out, parasites are a total mystery to most doctors. Hookworm has such effective anti coagulation abilities pharmaceutical companies are now copying it for medical purposes. This may well exacerbate bleeding at the site as well as further down the digestive tract.

    Unfortunately probiotics only ever blocked me up. Now the worms may have gone this situation could have changed. In fact this morning I bought Saccharomyces boulardii and cigarettes. I had such a bad night of blood and D since the Vermox I had to act. I dont think the Vermox is an antibiotic but my symptoms are like C Diff not UC. As the parasites have cleared and following the colonoscopy I may well have provided an empty playground for all comers.

    Fortunately my GP has agreed to urgently refer me to the Hookworm expert at the hospital for tropical diseases.

  26. Mk November 28, 2015 at 5:27 am #

    Hi Graham,

    Do let me know how you get on with this. I was told by a friend that saint marks in hospital in Harrow (greater London) are the world leaders in bowl conditions, Might be worth a visit and the best bit is that it’s a nhs hospital too.

    Might also be worth looking up some Spices too, I recall ginger and garlic being very good for paracites etc

  27. Graham from England
    Graham November 28, 2015 at 5:48 am #

    Will do. In a month or two I should have the full story and will link here. I am certainly downing the garlic. Happily things are dramatically improving though I can’t say if it’s PB’s or cigarettes. The advice is one thing at a time but desperate times call for desperate measures.

  28. Mk November 28, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    I completely agree, first stabilise the condition then focus on the longterm treatment / preventative route.

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