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Constipation relief: olives help because of sugar alcohols

Lolinda

J'aime nager dans le froid style Wim Hof.. 🏊‍♀️🙃
Messages
420
Location
Geneva, Switzerland
Since years I am always in danger of getting constipated but usually I manage. And, I always wondered why I eat copious amounts of olives. I never made the connection. I just knew I am addicted to them :) and they are somehow good for me. Then it happened again: some failed experiment messed up my gut and I got badly constipated. I did not understand why I went straight to the shop and bought a 150g bag of olives and emptied it in a day. Next day again. Constipation relieved! Dr Google answered:

http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/food/fruits/
SUGAR ALCOHOLS
Plants have evolved over hundreds of millions of years to use animals for their own purposes, and they know what they are doing. Not only have they made most fruits sweet, delicious, and easy to pick, they have also included in the flesh of the fruit sugar alcohols, like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. If you have ever eaten “sugar-free” chocolates or candies that contain sugar alcohols, you know that they can have a laxative effect. This is no accident. Fruits contain sugar alcohols to speed the seed along its route through your body. This is also why prunes, which are high in the sugar alcohol sorbitol, are famous for relieving constipation. Plants want you to transport their seeds, they do not want you to digest and destroy them. The longer it takes for a seed to travel through an animal’s gastrointestinal tract, the higher the chance that it will be damaged in the process, so the plant would like its seeds to move through you as quickly as possible.
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sugar-alcohol-diabetes-friendly/
Mannitol is 50 to 70 percent as sweet as sugar. It is found in carrots, olives and asparagus

Just wanted to post you these, hoping it helps some. I don't think there is anything special to olives, 100 other things will do, too. But olives should be compatible with most diets on earth, even my ketogenic diet (which is constipating, slightly). Exceptions are if you need to eat low salt or low salicylates.

Until now, my generally high olives consumption was always a mystery to me... How on earth can it be that I crave them so much when they are devoid of any nutrients?? Look at this table: This is the - non existant - nutritional value of 100g olives..... All it has is lots of that so precious ssssssoooodium! :D

IMG_20180602_154936.jpg
 
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RWP (Rest without Peace)

Senior Member
Messages
209
Since years I am always in danger of getting constipated but usually I manage. And, I always wondered why I eat copious amounts of olives. I never made the connection. I just knew I am addicted to them :) and they are somehow good for me. Then it happened again: some failed experiment messed up my gut and I got badly constipated. I did not understand why I went straight to the shop and bought a 150g bag of olives and emptied it in a day. Next day again. Constipation relieved!

@Lolinda

Yes, and the fat in olives (monounsaturated) are known to stimulate bile flow, another major necessity for proper bowel function. I can get the documentation on that, but it doesn't take a scientist to know that it works.

RWP
 

Eastman

Senior Member
Messages
526
Yes, and the fat in olives (monounsaturated) are known to stimulate bile flow, another major necessity for proper bowel function. I can get the documentation on that, but it doesn't take a scientist to know that it works.
I did find this study: Effect of Different Olive Oils on Bile Excretion in Rats Fed Cholesterol-Containing and Cholesterol-Free Diets

Also, there is this study: Ca2+ antagonist and cholinergic activities explain the medicinal use of olive in gut disorders
 

RWP (Rest without Peace)

Senior Member
Messages
209
@Eastman

Thanks for doing the legwork! The reason why I knew this already is that my wife's (PWR) cancer doctor used the combination of olive oil and fresh grapefruit juice (an old naturopathic recipe) to enable gallstones to come out during a fast called a Liver Cleanse. We both did many of these, and we saw hundreds of stones come out, green, brown, etc.

I know that some have posted skeptical messages on this forum about it, but PWR & I noticed immediate improvement in our symptoms (within days of completing the cleanse). And my wife's ovarian cancer was cured without surgery, chemo or radiation.

I have begun to write about her doctor's approach to cancer here: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?entries/pt-1-cancer-mcs-and-me.2359/

I plan to do a follow-up soon.

RWP
 

RWP (Rest without Peace)

Senior Member
Messages
209
@Lolinda

One great tip from Alton Brown (no-brainer) to remove the salt in olives (for those who are salt-sensitive due to high BP) is to soak them at least 24 hours in water; we usually go 48. Works great, though the oils get drained off too.

RWP
 

Lolinda

J'aime nager dans le froid style Wim Hof.. 🏊‍♀️🙃
Messages
420
Location
Geneva, Switzerland
Update: after some observation, I found that when I had constipation issues, my increased appetite for olives was for a specific variety: the small sweetish "leccino" (This is the internationally used Italian name. There is a similar variety in the local Portuguese shop, the "bical". I did not test it for constipation. It somewhat less sweet, but that might be just a difference in seasoning). A 150g of leccino olives bring a strong effect against constipation. I eat them distributed over the meals of a day. And lately I have no constipation whatsoever and I strictly dislike them, I could not eat a single one. I fathom they will be especially high in sugar alcohols giving them their remarkable sweetish taste that is unique among olives. While I did not find data on their sugar alcohol content, I verified in this research paper that the content of ordinary sugar in leccino is just the same as that of other olive cultivars. Thus their taste must originate from something else; sugar alcohols being my candidate.

Nostraline-Leccino-Abruzzo-Olives-fresh-line-madamaoliva-376x372.png
 
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Hope4

Desert of SW USA
Messages
473

Lolinda

J'aime nager dans le froid style Wim Hof.. 🏊‍♀️🙃
Messages
420
Location
Geneva, Switzerland
( @Hope4 : would you permit me to contact you in PM? You are blocked currently. I have a further question about fodmaps that really does not belong in any way to the topic of this thread )

@Hope4 Thanks for mentioning FODMAPS! This is actually the most interesting point why I am so happy about tolerating olives: I do not tolerate any other fodmaps! How on earth can this work that olives are an exception? From the many effects of polyols, here two that may be particularly relevant for this thread:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5508768/
  • laxative effects when consumed by both healthy volunteers and patients with IBS.
  • moderate doses of polyols have been shown to shift the microbiome toward an increase in bifidobacteria in healthy individuals and may therefore be beneficial as prebiotics.
These fit my observation that I generally profit from lots of olives and in those rare cases when I actually had a "constipation emergency", I instinctively turned to high polyol leccino. However, there remains a mystery: I do not tolerate any prebiotics. So why really are olives an exception? I have some measurements and experiences indicating that the source of my intolerance is in the small intestine. My colon and the bugs therein are tested healthy. So the following is my best guess for an explanation: Olives are strong antimicrobials. This protects them during their passage along my small intestine. No bugs can touch them, thus opposing other prebiotics, they won't cause any growth of bugs in the small intestine (even beneficial bugs are harmful in the wrong place). Then, when their remains arrive in the colon, the very high numbers of bugs there finally overwhelm the defenses and utilise the prebiotics.

Here the research on antibio abilities: While I didnt find any research directly on olives, the extract of oil made from them kills all bugs:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17536679
The survival of foodborne pathogens in aqueous extracts of olive oil, virgin olive oil, vinegar, and several beverages was evaluated. Vinegar and aqueous extracts of virgin olive oil showed the strongest bactericidal activity against all strains tested. Red and white wines also killed most strains after 5 min of contact, black and green tea extracts showed weak antimicrobial activity under these conditions, and no effect was observed for the remaining beverages (fruit juices, Coca-Cola, dairy products, coffee, and beer). The phenolic compound content of the aqueous olive oil and virgin olive oil extracts could explain their antibacterial activity, which was also confirmed in mayonnaises and salads used as food models. Virgin olive oil in mayonnaises and salads reduced the counts of inoculated Salmonella Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes by approximately 3 log CFU/g. Therefore, olive oil could be a hurdle component in certain processed foods and exert a protective effect against foodborne pathogens when contaminated foods are ingested.

And for anyone who values practical experiences aside of research: how many times have you seen rotten olives? Well, producers need to invest effort and lots of time to get a little bugs grow on them and then sell them for lots of money in deli and organic shops as fermented olives (and i love them :) ). And a bag of olives in my fridge that I didn't eat for months, just grew a little white funghi like on camembert cheese, that's all what the microbes were able to do on them! (and the taste was deeeeelllliiiicious!! :) :) :) ) - so in conclusion: the ratio of natural antimicrobials to prebiotics in olives must be absolutely exceptional. Maybe this is why I tolerate them?

Offtopics:
  • If anyone shares my enthusiasm for fermented food:
    Enjoy my new thread on safely doing aged butter at home, resulting in a marvellous blue cheese flavour (I am as intolerant to both casein and lactose as it gets so this is why I ferment butter. No, I am not the first to invent this but some famed chefs did...)
  • And for those, who are intolerant to anything fermented/histamine:
    I resolved my histamine probs by smearing 3mg of B2 vitamin every day on skin before sleep. It resorbs (and it stains every cloth... :eek:). Forget low histamine dieting. It works but is soooo cumbersome.... I tolerate now even the histamine bomb, red wine vinegar. Take that.
 
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BeADocToGoTo1

Senior Member
Messages
536
Olives also have magnesium, which is another important factor. Great source of healthy fat, which might also be a reason for the craving. When in nutritional ketosis, it is possible that you need a bit more salt in the diet, which is also where olives help. I eat them every day whole and as part of oil. Just an all around great food!
 
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