Scientists had already had indications that the Mediterranean diet, rich in extra virgin olive oil, helps fight cancer.
These indications came from comparing the frequency of some types of cancer in North and South Europe. In particular,
breast, bowel, ovarian and prostate cancer are less frequent in Mediterranean countries than in north European countries.
Initial researches showed that there is a correlation between rich in olive oil diet and reduced cases of these types of cancer. Τhen, they handed over to the School of biological sciences at the University of Edinburgh and Grajan Michlewski’s research team. So far, this study has given concrete results on one type of cancer.
Olive oil can help prevent brain cancer
Oleic acid is the primary, core ingredient of olive oil. Cellular protein known as MSI2 is responsible for producing the substance that creates brain tumors. What was discovered is that oleic acid and therefore all food that contains it, prevents this cellular protein from forming tumors and, at the same time, helps destroying them while they are still small.
Our findings show that oleic acid can support the production of tumor suppressor molecules in cells that are developed in the lab. Further research could help identify the role of olive oil for brain health.
Dr Gracjan Michlewski – School of biological sciences at the University of Edinburgh
In another study, Danish scientists worked with a group of 182 European men aged 20 to 60 years. They studied the changes that occured during a 2 week period that the sample consumed 1/4 cup olive oil daily. The findings showed a 13% reduction of the substance 8-Oxo-dG. This substance is an indicator of DNA damages due to oxidation.
Note that at the start of the research, men from North Europe had higher levels of 8-Oxo-dG in their blood compared to men from South Europe.
These findings confirm that the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, has a lot to offer us. Not only against cardiovascular diseases but also against cancer.
Olive oil and breast cancer
Other studies come from the U.S.A and Spain. The scientists’ experimental work showed that oleic acid in olive oil inhibits proto-oncogene HER-2/neu, which exists in 30% of the patients with breast cancer.
In conclusion, we can say that research supports the advice for replacing animal fat with plant oils and especially olive oil.
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