Olive oil against or breast cancer? Researchers in tumor immunology from the University of Jaén have demonstrated the anti-tumor activity of pinoresinol (phytoestrogen of virgin olive oil) in breast cancer cells.

Also, recently Dr. Eduard Estrich with the Multidisciplinary Group on Breast Cancer, has confirmed the effectiveness of high quality olive oil in the prevention and treatment of cancer in general and breast cancer in particular.

Olive oil against breast cancer

In fact, it would be enough to take daily about 50ml of quality virgin oil, some 18 liters/year. On the contrary, a diet rich in saturated fats and omega-6 accelerates puberty and breast cancer during adolescence, moreover  causing large tumors.

Likewise, seed oils slow down cell differentiation and damage the structure of DNA. This factor can also lead to the development of cancerous tumors.

World cancer day

World Cancer Day calls for prevention to reduce the impact of this disease. The following is recommended worldwide:

Eat as much natural unprocessed food as possible
Follow a balanced diet
No smoking
Physical activity

A molecule in extra virgin olive oil is said to attack the metabolism and epigenesis of breast cancer stem cells. The discovery opens up promising new opportunities to directly attack cancer stem cells (CSC). It is an aggressive type of cancer cell that is often responsible for relapses in cancer patients.

Oro del Desierto Extra Virgin Oil extracted directly from olive trees in the Tabernas Desert (Almería)

Five years ago, Dr. Menéndez and his team looked for new molecules with anti-CSC properties. His method was inspired by techniques used by pharmaceutical companies to develop new cancer drugs.

The molecules were first isolated before testing their effects on tumor stem cell cultures. Next, they studied their ability to affect the functionality of cancer stem cells, including their resistance to anticancer drugs and their ability to generate new microtumors.

They found these properties in aglycon decarboxymethyloleuropein (DOA). It is an oleoside conjugated to phenol which is present in small quantities in cold pressed EVOO. DOA simultaneously attacked the proteins responsible for metabolism (mTOR) and epigenesis (DNMT).

This dual metabolic-epigenetic mechanism effectively suppresses the functional properties of tumor stem cells and inhibits their ability to form tumors.

Successful animal testing

After the first test phase, the researchers successfully tested the molecule on laboratory animals. It has been confirmed that exposing cancer stem cells to specific oleosides for a few hours is sufficient to completely inhibit their ability to initiate tumor formation in laboratory animals.

The pioneering study was published in the famous medical journal Carcinogenesis, which is part of the Oxford University Press group.

The best EVOO aren’t always the cheapest, but they’re the tastiest and healthiest

The third phase

Produced in collaboration with Mind the Byte, a bioinformatics company specializing in the development of drugs using new methods such as artificial intelligence.

They were able to follow the mechanism of action of anti-CSC molecules. In fact, the researchers have already filed an international patent application and are working on the creation of new molecules which mimic the anti-CCS effects of oleosides.

The Menéndez team received the Luis Vañó Prize for Research in the Olive Oil Industry, awarded on April 16 in Jaén by the University of Jaén in collaboration with the University of California Davis.

Olive oil against breast cancer: the Italian study

It has been confirmed that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil will prevent the development of breast cancer.

In Italy, the results of 307 women who had been treated for early breast cancer were compared.

They were divided into two groups. Those who followed a Mediterranean diet based on vegetables, fruits, rice, fish, processed red meat and lots of olive oil, and those who followed a normal healthy diet.

Researchers at Piacenza Hospital found that after three years of study, 11 women in the second group (those on a normal diet) had relapsed from breast cancer, but none among the first group.

Risk factors for breast cancer

Risk factors for breast cancer are known, such as lack of physical activity and being overweight. As a result, interest in certain eating habits is constantly increasing to avoid their appearance.

Professor Arnie Purushotham, clinical adviser on cancer research in the UK, declared that a Mediterranean diet could help reduce breast cancer.

A study by researchers at the University Hospital of Jaén in collaboration with Genyo shows that olive oil can have positive effects on triple negative breast cancer (CSTN).

In particular, the research group led by Dr Sergio Granados has identified the chemopreventive properties of a component of extra virgin olive oil and table olives called hydroxytyrosol.

Olive oil against triple negative breast cancer

The results of the study were published in the international journal European Journal of Nutrition. Hydroxytyrosol is said to act directly on cancer stem cells responsible for metastatic tumor recurrences by reducing their number and their ability to reproduce.

The researchers also showed that this compound reduces both the aggressiveness as well as the migratory and invasive capacity of tumor cells of this type of cancer and therefore their metastatic potential.

Breast cancer is often associated with a high incidence and mortality rate in women. In particular, CSTN is a very aggressive form of breast cancer, which is characterized by a low survival rate, high proliferation and heterogeneity of cancer cells with a high probability of metastasis.

Hydroxytyrosol is a phytochemical polyphenol with antioxidant properties, considered among the most powerful natural antioxidants. In nature, it is present in the olive tree and mainly concentrates on the leaves, virgin olive oil and table olives.

This research is also the basis of a clinical study examining the effects of hydroxytyrosol in the prevention of breast cancer in high-risk patients. This study is being conducted at the Houston Methodist Hospital, in the United States.

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