Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Dr. Limor Goren: I'm a mom to teenage girls, a scientist, and an entrepreneur. I love cooking, and hosting, and having many people around my dinner table. About 10 years ago, I decided to dedicate my career to science. I went to grad school in NYC, and got my PhD in Molecular Biology. I was doing cancer research, and was working on a molecule extracted from olive oil called oleocanthal. Once I found out about oleocanthal and its power to heal, it was clear to me that I needed to bring it to market. I was searching the world for olive oils with the highest percentage of oleocanthal and other polyphenols, and that's how I came upon The Governor. From there, I founded kyoord to help bring high-phenolic olive oil to more people.
How were you introduced to oleocanthal and the health benefits of high-phenolic olive oil?
Dr. Limor Goren: In 2014, I was working in a lab where the main research subject had to do with cellular metabolism and cancer. I was studying this molecule called oleocanthal, which is found in nature only in extra virgin olive oil. I was trying to understand the mechanism of its actions, why it's anti-cancerous, and how it affects cancer cells. What I found was that oleocanthal actually damages the lysosome - the digestive system of the cell. Cancer cells are very dependent on lysosomes, mainly for obtaining nutrients and continuing to grow and divide, and oleocanthal interferes with that function, causing the cancer cells to stop progressing.
Once I discovered oleocanthal, I decided to look into various olive oils and see if there are any that have the same effect on cancer cells. I searched the world for the best high-phenolic olive oil and ultimately came across The Governor. It had just won an award for having the highest concentration of oleocanthal ever discovered at that time. I started using The Governor for my research along with a variety of other olive oils.
We learned that that not every olive oil has the ability to slow down tumor progression, and that it’s unique to those with high amounts of polyphenols, especially oleocanthal. Unfortunately, most of the lower quality olive oils that are commercially available in supermarkets really didn't do anything. It was incredible to learn that a high concentration of oleocanthal is highly lethal to cancer cells, but not to normal cells.
What is your favorite way to use high phenolic olive oil?
Dr. Limor Goren: Oh, well, I can’t say I have one. I love doing shots of the olive oil. I can really feel that I'm getting a nice boost of health promoting nutrients for for my body. But I love using it in cooking and baking. I use it on everything. I hardly make food that does not contain olive oil, including dessert. My favorite is making a lemon poppy olive oil cake. I make salad dressing with it, I make chimichurri with it. I make pesto with it, and I create a lot of different olive oil based sauces and marinades. If I didn't have an olive oil company, I would definitely have a sauce company!
You’re a mom, a scientist, AND the founder of kyoord. What has it been like developing a product and bringing it to the market?
Dr. Limor Goren: My favorite part is that I make a product that touches so many people's lives. If you read our reviews, I mean, people just love the taste and the flavor, and they love knowing that there's food with so many health benefits that's very accessible. I'm getting a lot of positive feedback and many emails from people thanking me, and that's really heartwarming and it's extremely rewarding.
Do you have a health and wellness secret or a go-to wellness routine?
Dr. Limor Goren: I believe in the basics: eating healthy and exercising almost every day. I bet every expert pretty much says the same thing. But guess what? it's true. Yes, once in a while, I might have a cheeseburger or eat three slices of pizza. But most of the time, I eat homemade food, mainly Mediterranean style of eating. Lots of veggies, salad, seafood. Clean food. Drenched in olive oil. And yes, exercising almost every day.
What is your favorite excursive routine or sport?
Dr. Limor Goren: I love the outdoors, so really anything outdoorsy.
Surfing is number one. No question about it. Then there's running, biking... and lately I got into tennis. I'm not very good at it, but it's a great cardio!
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe?
Dr. Limor Goren: Yes, I take whatever I have at home, I drizzle some olive oil and then I throw it on the grill. That can be zucchini or eggplant or corn or chicken thighs or shrimp or whatever I have. I love adding a lot of Mediterranean spices like paprika, cumin, and cardamom. But really just a little bit of olive oil and then throw it on the grill. The grill is my best friend. Then drizzle some more olive oil on top, or a homemade chimichurri, and that's happiness.
Do you have a favorite vacation destination?
Dr. Limor Goren: I love surfing, so all my vacation destinations have to do with surf. And there is a particular surf spot on the west coast of Mexico that is absolutely my favorite. Actually, I started the company from there. I spent a week there in Thanksgiving 2019, and that's where I started kyoord from.
Because of COVID, I haven’t been able to get back since. But this year I'm going back there for Christmas. It's a small fishing village called La Saladita.
Are there any studies that you're following? Any new research around high-phenolic olive oil?
Dr. Limor Goren: Absolutely. There haven't been many clinical studies utilizing high-phenolic olive oil as a therapy. And that's because it's food that's available for anyone. It doesn't require FDA approval, it's already approved. Everyone has access to it.
However, there was one clinical study on supplementation with high-phenolic olive oil in CLL patients. CLL is a Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. I'm really thrilled that this clinical study is now completed and the results are very promising. So that study is going to come out very soon. To the best of my knowledge, that is going to be the first clinical study to be published in a peer-reviewed journal that ties oleocanthal and high-phenolic olive oil to the slow- down of cancer progression.
And the last question, do you have a life motto?
Dr. Limor Goren: Yes. My life motto is something I once heard that really resonated with me and that is “when you're feeling helpless, help someone”. That's my life motto. Whenever I don't really know where I'm going, what my direction is or what I'm doing with my life, I remember that my center is helping others and that keeps me going.