A drizzle of olive oil a day could help keep breast cancer at bay, according to recent findings. Research shows that this healthy Mediterranean oil helps to stunt the growth of tumors, causing their cells to break down and protecting against potentially-cancerous damage to DNA.
The Spanish scientists set out to find out why previous studies had linked an olive oil-rich diet, to lower odds of various cancers.
In experiments on rats, they showed that olive oil thwarts a gene that drives the growth of breast tumors.
The oil also switched off proteins that cancer cells rely on to stay alive. Furthermore, it also protects DNA from damage that can lead to cancer, according to the paper.
One of the study researchers recommends that we all get 50ml, or 10 teaspoons of high quality, extra virgin olive oil a day, as only long-term use will give results.
Olive oil is already known as a health-protective oil. It consists of 75% heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and 13% saturated fat. It contains active compounds such as oleocanthal, which has a strong anti-inflammatory action. It also contains natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E. These all make olive oil an effective heart disease and cancer fighter, as well as helping to lower blood pressure.
Olive oil is also the best-digested of all vegetable oils and is the most effective at stimulating the gall bladder. This is important for overall fat digestion, as the bile stored in the gall bladder breaks down fatty foods into very small droplets, which are then more easily processed by the digestive juices. This makes olive oil extremely valuable for weight loss and for the relief of liver and gall bladder problems.
For the highest antioxidant content, choose extra-virgin olive oil, as it is the least processed. Use olive oil for low-temperature cooking, as it will burn at higher temperatures, thus burning off many of its health benefits.
Research Paper Details:
Solanas M, Grau L, Moral R, et al. Dietary olive oil and corn oil differentially affect experimental breast cancer through distinct modulation of the p21Ras signaling and the proliferation-apoptosis balance. Carcinogenesis (2010) 31 (5): 871-879.