Extra Virgin Olive Oil Antioxidants Help Fight Against Breast Cancer

Certain antioxidants within extra virgin olive oil may contain properties that help fight against breast cancer, according to a recently published study.

A natural group of antioxidants, known as polyphenols, are found in relatively high abundance within extra virgin olive oil, specifically in the forms of lignans, pinoresinol, acetopinoresinol, secoiridoids, tirosol, and a few other specific and less abundant polyphenol compounds. Antioxidants in general are considered by many in the medical field, to have natural cancer-fighting properties, through the elimination of free radicals. The current study is the first to directly connect extra virgin olive oil to anti-cancer properties, discovering that the prevalence of polyphenols helps limit the severity of breast cancer and directly battles malignant tumors.

Through in Vitro laboratory methods, researchers at the University of Granada discovered that polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil, found within breast cancer cell linings, had the ability of inhibiting certain cancerous cell growth, as well as actually killing off some of the dangerous cancer cells. The breast cancer cells known as HER2, were most effected by the polyphenol presence.

This discovery could lead to the development of new anti-cancer drugs, based on natural extra virgin olive oil properties. Conclude the researchers in their recent news release, “this study confirms the potentiality of polyphenols to inhibit HER2 activity and to promote its degradation. Such results, together with the fact that humans have consumed secoiridoids and lignans safely for a long time through oil and olive oil consumption, endorse the fact that such phytochemicals could be an excellent and safe basis for the design of new antiHER2 compounds.”

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Menéndez, Javier. Gutiérrez, Alberto Fernández. Carretero, Antonio Segura. University of Granada news release. February 2009.