Image by Jenny Downing

Breast Cancer and Olive Oil

Researchers at the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (Spain) and the University of Granada (Spain) [Javier A. Menéndez, Alberto Fernández Gutiérrez and Antonio Segura Carretero.] have discovered that extra virgin olive oil may help to combat breast cancer.

This research so far is confined to test tubes. However they did find that extracts of extra virgin olive oil killed breast cancer cells.

There’s a long way to go before this kind of research could be translated into dietary advice, but it does seem very promising.

References: Universidad de Granada (2009, February 10). Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Help To Combat Breast Cancer.
ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2009, from¬ /releases/2009/02/090205113743.htm [This is a VERY technical paper.]

Colon Cancer and Fruit and Vegetables
A tiny molecule found in most plant-based foods (quercetin) douses the flames before damaging lesions can form in the colon, according to Dr. Nancy Turner.
Quercetin gets into the body through onions, peppers, tomatoes and most other common produce but also in “fun things like wine,” Dr. Turner said. “Just about any plant-based food in the human diet has some level of quercetin.”
“The nice thing is that . . . the level used in this study is actually similar to what can be achieved in diets around the world such as in, say, the Mediterranean-style diets,” she said.

This study used lab rats – one step further along than the test tube. Quercetin seems to work in two ways. Firstly by suppressing inflammation which leads to lesions (which tends to lead to tumour development) and secondly by suppressing the tumours themselves.

This research is quite close to being applied to the human diet.  Dr. Turner said that, “Overall, one of the best recommendations we’ve all heard from the day we were children is ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ The only addition is, don’t peel your apple,” she said. “Try your best to eat the whole food where ever possible, so that you can get the most from these beneficial compounds [they are stored near the skin in the fruits and vegetables].”
Dr. Turner noted that in addition to colon cancer, quercetin has shown positive impacts in warding off other chronic ailments such as cardiovascular disease.

References: Texas A&M (2009, February 10). Inflammation In Colon May Get Doused Before Fueling Cancer Development.
ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2009, from¬ /releases/2009/02/090202175316.htm

If you liked this post you might also like:

Fighting Cancer with Fruit and Vegetables
Fighting Cancer with Fruit and Vegetables#2

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8 Comments to “Fighting Cancer with Fruit and Vegetables#3”

  1. Mark says:

    There is a saying from a pretty popular book that says something to the effect of “A little wine for the stomach’s sake”. I must have read whine instead of wine. I’ll have to be more careful when I read. Thanks for the research on this Evan.

  2. Evan says:

    Thanks Mark. A book often referred to but little practised in my view.

  3. hkki says:

    nice post. Anything for alzheimerS

  4. Evan says:

    Hi Hkki,

    I don’t know about Alzheimers I’m afraid.

  5. sarah luczaj says:

    thanks for this – I need all the tips on colon cancer I can get as it runs in my family. My Mum was a vegetarian who ate loads of fruit and veg though and she died at 60 from it…

  6. Evan says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Unfortunately we can only better our chances. Fruit and veg does seem to raise our chances.

  7. Jilly says:

    I think WCRF looks into the link between diet and cancer prevention a fair bit. It’s a pretty good area in my opinion, to encourage people to actively take steps to try to prevent cancer.

  8. Evan says:

    Thanks for the link Jilly, it looks like a great site.

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