Results of a recent study on oleic acid, the primary ingredient in olive oil, have shown it may help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells.
The oily substance has been found to effectively stimulate the production of a cell molecule whose function is to prevent cancer-causing proteins from forming.
According to the study’s lead researcher Gracjan Michlewski of the University of Edinburgh in Britain, the finding doesn’t yet definitively prove that olive oil prevents brain cancer, but it does support the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab.
“Further studies could help determine the role that olive oil might have on brain health,” Michlewski added.
Their findings, published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, point towards possible therapies based on the oil to prevent brain cancer from occurring. Researchers made their discoveries in tests on human cell extracts and in living cells in the laboratory.
For the study, scientists analyzed the effect of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7, which is active in the brain and is known to suppress the formation of tumors.
They determined that oleic acid prevents a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping production of miR-7. In this way, the olive oil component supports the production of miR-7, which helps prevent tumors from forming, the study said.
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