A recent research project has suggested that olive oil could prevent liver damage.
Researchers from the Universities of Monastir in Tunisia and King Saud University in Saudi Arabia looked at the livers of rats that were exposed to a moderately toxic herbicide known to cause oxidative stress and deplete antioxidants.
The organs of the animals that were fed on a diet containing olive oil were partially protected from the liver damage that resulted from the exposure.
Writing in Nutrition and Metabolism, one of the team, Mohamed Hammami, said: "Olive oil is an integral ingredient in the Mediterranean diet.
"There is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses."
He added that the research demonstrated the fact that "extra virgin olive oil and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue".