Extra-virgin Olive Oil may offer potent anti-breast cancer drug

Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil

Based on a study published in the Journal BMC Cancer, there is a strong link between olive oil-rich Mediterranean diets with reduction in Breast Cancer risk.

Javier Menendez from Catalan Institute of Oncology and Antonio Seguara from the University of Granada in Spain, along with their team of researchers, found out the parts of olive oil that were most active against cancer.

Their findings reveal that all major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil considerably suppresses over-expression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells.

Extra-virgin olive oil is the resultant oil obtained when olives are pressed without using heat or chemical treatments. It contains phytochemicals that are otherwise lost when refining.

In the study, the oil was divided into fractions and tested against breast cancer cells in laboratory experiments. All fractions containing major extra-virgin phytochemical polyphenols have been found to effectively inhibit HER2.

Although the findings throw new insights on the mechanisms by which good quality oil (the polyphenol-rich extra-virgin olive oil) could contribute to lowering of breast cancer risk in HER2-dependent manner, one has to be very cautious when applying lab results to human situation, explains Menendez.

The health-relevant phytochemicals “ ‘lignans’ and ‘secoiridoids’ exhibit tumoricidal effects against cultured breast cancer cells at concentrations that are unlikely to be achieved in real life when consuming olive oil.

However, according to the authors, when considering the fact that humans have been safely taking in considerable amounts of ‘secoiridoid’s and ‘lignans’ when consuming olives and extra-virgin oil, it strongly indicates that these polyphenols form an excellent, safe platform for designing new anti-breast-cancer drugs.

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