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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Olive Oil and the struggle against cancer

Cancer vs Olive Oil

There is not an authentic Italian dish around that does not feature olive oil. It is not coming to light that it may have the ability to help in the struggle against Cancer.

At the University of Granada and the Catalan Institute of Technology, researchers have found that high quality extra-virgin olive oil may has properties that have been known to trigger cancer cell death. These are chemicals called photochemical polyphenols.

Javier Menendez, the study coauthor, has been quoted saying. “Our findings reveal for the first time that all the major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil drastically suppress over expression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells,”

Lab experiments have been conducted by researchers where they separated the oil into fractions and then tested them against breast cancer cells. It was found that the extra virgin olive oil that contained the photochemical polyphenols effectively inhibited the HER2.

It has been concluded by the study authors that a new anti-breast cancer drug may be developed using these polyphones as a safe platform.  SOURCE: BMC Cancer, 2008;8:377

Fighting breast cancer with olive oil

A new weapon in the fight against breast cancer and in creating new drugs for the battle could be olive oil as they have found that chemicals that stop the growth of cancerous cells is also found in olive oil.

Olive oil has long been a staple of the people of the Mediterranean and has been proven to be effective in defeating certain types of cancer. It has been discovered by researchers that cancerous cells are affected by isolated chemicals that are an active ingredient in olive oil.

There is a protein that is produced by the plant and in the oil that has been proven to block a protein know to be in breast cancer cells. This research was conducted by a team at the University of Granada, located in Spain.

The HER2 protein is present in about 20% of breast cancer tumors, this protein has an accelerated growth rate when compared to other forms of cancer. There is hope in the prention of cancer and its return as drugs such as Herceptin have proven to be effective. The BioMed Central journal as reported that lignans and secoiridoids may also be effective in the same manner of Herceptin.

A team member from the University of Granada, Antonio Segura-Carretero and a representative from the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Javier Menendez are quoted as saying: “Our findings reveal for the first time that all the major complex phenols present in extra-virgin olive oil drastically suppress over expression of the cancer gene HER2 in human breast cancer cells”.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil eliminates the step of heating or adding chemical elements during the refining process. It is merely the product of pressing olives and extracting the oil. The elimination of this process allows the phytomchemicals to remain.Two of the chemicals that remain in the oil, lignans and secoiridoids, were isolated by the team and then they were tested in the lab against breast cancer cells.

Since the concentrations that will in fact lower the HER2 are much higher than can be naturally found in food, the authors of the study suggest that their results cannot be extrapolated to our natural diets that include good quality extra-virgin olive oil. That is oil that still contains polyphenols. They are quoted as saying: “These findings, together with the fact that that humans have safely been ingesting significant amounts of lignans and secoiridoids as long as they have been consuming olives and extra-virgin oil, strongly suggest that these polyphenols might provide an excellent and safe platform for the design of new anti breast-cancer drugs”.

Dr Joanna Owens, Cancer Research UK A senior cancer information officer, Dr Joanna Owens, Cancer Research UK , said: “We already know that a Mediterranean-style diet can help to protect against cancer, which includes cutting down on saturated fats often found in chocolate, crisps and cakes in favor of the monounsaturated fats found in foods like olive oil. “In this study the researchers separated out the natural plant chemicals in olive oil and looked at their effects on different types of breast cancer cells in the lab – but the concentrations they’ve used are much higher than you could ever obtain from eating olive oil.

“This research is at a very early stage but investigating the potential of plant chemicals is an exciting area of research that could pave the way for the development of cancer-preventing drugs in the future.”

olive oil, health benefit, prevent cancer

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