BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7518.704 (Published 22 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:704

A short report in Nature (2005;437: 45-6)explains why olive oil can be soothing. The newly pressed, extra virgin oil contains a compound that mimics the pain relieving activity of ibuprofen. Oleocanthal suppresses the same pain pathway as ibuprofen, although it has a different structure. It's estimated that 50 g of olive oil is equivalent to 10% of the recommended adult dose of ibuprofen. This won't be much good for a headache but might explain some of the benefits said to be conferred by the Mediterranean diet.

With just under two weeks to go, UK Transplant is still hoping to reach its target of adding one million organ donors to its register in 12 months. During the first 11 months of the campaign,which was launched on 6 October last year, 948 711 people signed up to donate organs on their death, leaving just 50 000 more needed to hit the target. To sign up go to http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/.

The Royal College of Physicians in London publicly opposes the government's 24 hour drinking plans, yet has quietly applied for a licence to sell alcohol on its conference premises from 9 am to midnight. Its defence? It is not applying for alcohol to be available all day but to be able …

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