Taking Shots Of Olive Oil Is The Latest Viral Trend, But Is It Safe?

Unless you've been living under a rock, then you're familiar with the latest wellness trend taking over TikTok. Just like every other fad, social media users and influencers are swearing by the health benefits of olive oil. People have praised this year's old remedy as a means of keeping the heart and brain strong. Olive oil has even made its way to skincare products. Health guru Patrick Hu sports over 60,000 TikTok followers and has been preaching the gospel of extra virgin olive oil for quite some time. In a viral video from February outlining the benefits of taking a shot of olive oil, Hu says the daily dose can even alleviate mental ailments such as depression. Reality star Kourtney Kardashian has also confirmed that she takes a tablespoon of the oil each morning before eating. With so many people jumping on the olive oil bandwagon, one cannot help but wonder how safe this practice truly is.

A 2020 article published in Cells confirmed that olive oil possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additional studies have also acknowledged the wonders of this Mediterranean liquid. However, only a few have looked into whether or not drinking it can have any added bonuses. For this reason, experts aren't exactly jumping for joy over the idea of orally consuming shots of olive oil.

Shots of olive oil could lead to an upset stomach

Many people take shots of olive oil to improve their digestive health. It has been used orally as a stool softener and to ease constipation. However, doctors say excessive olive oil can actually activate the bowels too much, causing severe cramps and diarrhea. Since lifestyle TikToker Patrick Hu and others recommend a shot of the oil daily, this could actually be providing your body with too much of it, wreaking havoc on your tummy. 

Other TikTokers, such as the self-proclaimed Olive Oil Queen, say drinking olive oil decreases bloating, and she even shares before and after photos to prove it. However, Dr. James Walker, who serves as the medical advisor for Welzo, pointed out in an interview with Glam that olive oil can actually increase bloating. This is due to the high-fat content of olive oil. Therefore, taking one shot a day may be doing your gut more harm than good.

Excessive olive oil causes weight gain

Since olive oil does contain a high number of calories, a shot of day can actually pack on the pounds pretty quickly. One tablespoon of olive oil accounts for about 120 calories. If taken each day, that's 840 calories a week in just oil. Though the monounsaturated fats within olive oil are considered healthy fats, too much of them can have the same effects as other fats. In turn, this increases the risk of heart attack, obesity, stroke, and even breast cancer.

Taking shots of olive oil may not be the best idea, but that does not mean ingesting this natural component is bad. Incorporating olive oil moderately into your diet can make a world of difference. Instead of throwing the oil back, try cooking your food with it or drizzling it onto a salad along with your desired dressing. This will ensure that you reap some of the rewards without endangering yourself. And make sure that your olive oil is the real deal. Extra virgin is the way to go when choosing the brand to cook with. While this latest trend has good intentions, you may want to hold off on having olive oil for breakfast.