Cancer continues to be among the deadliest of diseases resulting in millions of deaths every year. Scientists and medical experts, who are constantly engaged in finding possible remedies to treat cancers of different types, count olive oil as a serious contender. This oil is considered to reduce risks and well as rates of cancer development.
Olive oil is one of the prime constituents of the Mediterranean Diet that is constantly proving its worth in dealing with various health issues. Although the potential of this oil for cancer prevention has been studied on animal models by far, researchers are quite hopeful to extend the results for humans as well.
Here is a summary of the research until now that establishes association between olive oil and different cancers, showing how we can fight cancer with olive oil.
Colon or Bowel Cancer
Studies performed at the University Hospital of Barcelona and many other reputed organizations conclude that olive oil has a protective effect on the development of colon cancer lesions. In fact, the potential of this oil for preventing bowel cancer risks is compared to that of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Research also shows that people consuming Mediterranean diets are less likely to develop colon cancer as compared to those consuming meats and fish in huge quantities.
Japan is among the first countries to study the possible ability of olive oil in preventing skin cancer. According to a study conducted on hairless mice exposed to sunlight, treating the sunburnt skin with this oil can reverse the damage and probable development of skin cancer.
Olive oil is reported to fix the damage that the ultraviolet rays of sun cause to the DNA that results in formation of harmful free radicals. The anti-oxidation quality of this oil is known to eliminate these radicals and lower down the risks of skin cancer.
Incidences of breast cancer are lower in women who regularly consume diets containing recommended amounts of olive oil. Vitamins, antioxidants and other useful substances found in this oil are capable of combating the free radicals responsible for the development of breast tumors.
As studied by the Catalonian Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, the extra virgin oil containing rich amounts of polyphenols can effectively fight the breast cancer cells.
Experts at the institute also conclude that unrefined and unheated extra virgin form of this oil is the best in this direction.
If breast cancer is common among women, prostate cancer is increasing in men. Experts at various medical institutes and research organizations study olive oil as the natural source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that can significantly decrease the chances of developing this cancer.
Furthermore, it studies show that this oil is capable of increasing the absorption of lycopene in the body. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that can reduce the prostate cancer cell activities.
Other Ongoing Research Works
Olive oil is also being studied in relation to the prevention of cancers of esophagus, digestive tract, endometrium and ovary. Leukemia in children is another health issue for which this oil has shown the signs of being an effective remedy.
In the conclusion, it is important to sum up the most underlying properties of olive oil that establishes its competency in fighting cancers. These include:
- Rich in antioxidants
- Comprises good quantities of different polyphenol
- Is a wonderful source of mono saturated fatty acids that hamper the production of prostaglandins that are responsible for the growth of tumors
- Provides useful compounds like squalene and flavonoids that in one way or the other can deal with the cancer cells
One can hope that in the near future, scientists will be able to establish olive oil as one of the most powerful weapons against cancer. Until then, you can start including this oil in your diet, but only after consulting an expert.