Researchers have discovered a compound in olive oil that mimics the
pain-relieving action of ibuprofen. While the compound, oleocanthal, is
not present in large enough levels to provide substantial pain-relief
effects, researchers believe long-term consumption of olive oil may help protect
against certain diseases such as certain cancers and cardiovascular
disease. This discovery also provides an explanation for the well known
health benefits of an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet.
Source: Nature, August 31, 2005.