Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scientists Confirm Value of Olive Oil as a Cancer Fighter

Researchers have long known about the value of the "mediterranean diet" originating in countries like Italy, Greece or Crete. In those countries, there's a heavy emphasis on olive oil.

Now, scientists and clinicians of the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (Spain) and the University of Granada (Spain) have discovered that extra virgin olive oil may indeed help to combat breast cancer. Their research work was published in the last issue of the scientific journal BMC Cancer. There, the authors confirm that polyphenols (natural antioxidants found in plants) appear to fight breast cancer, and that these biochemicals are present in olive oil.

HER2 is a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer. This study appears to prove the anti-HER2 effect of compounds extracted from extra virgin olive oil. Researchers used state of the art extraction and analysis methods to isolate these compounds from commercial oils, and then tested them for their anti-cancer capacity both against positive HER2 and negative HER2 breast cancer cell lines. Biochemicals such as hydroxitirosol, tirosol, elenolic acid, lignans, pinoresinol and acetopinoresinol, and secoiridoids, diacetox oleuropein aglycone, ligustrosid aglycone and oleuropein aglycone, all found in olive oil, were able to induce important effects against breast cancer cells.


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