Why olive oil may reduce breast cancer risk

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, CHICAGO- Scientists say they have uncovered why a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil seems to cut the risk of developing breast cancer.

10 January 2005

CHICAGO- Scientists say they have uncovered why a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil seems to cut the risk of developing breast cancer.

Olive oil, an essential ingredient in most Spanish meals, contains an ingredient called oleic acid, they say.

Research at the Northwestern University in Chicago on breast cancer cells showed the acid sharply cut levels of a gene thought to trigger the disease.
 
Cancer charities said the study, in Annals of Oncology, was interesting, but more research was needed.

The researchers found that oleic acid cut levels of a gene called Her-2/neu, which occurs at high levels in over a fifth of breast cancer patients and is associated with highly aggressive tumours with a poor prognosis.

Not only did oleic acid suppress activity of the gene, it also boosted the effectiveness of a breast cancer drug called herceptin, which has helped to prolong the lives of many patients.

Lead researcher Dr Javier Menendez said: "Our findings underpin epidemiological studies that show that the Mediterranean diet has significant protective effects against cancer, heart disease and ageing."

Dr Menendez said it might be possible to delay or prevent herceptin resistance in breast cancer patients carrying high levels of the rogue gene by including olive oil in their diet.

However, he stressed that lab results did not always translate into clinical practice.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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