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October 26, 2005

Virgin olive oil blocks cancer cells in lab

Topics: Medicine

Dr. Chris I. R. Gill and colleages, from the University of Ulster in North Ireland, write in the International Journal of Cancer that a mixture of compounds called phenols, extracted from virgin olive oil, inhibits the process by which colon cells become cancerous.

Because the colon is one of the major cancer sites thought to be protected by olive oil, the team studied the potential anti-cancer effects of virgin olive oil phenols in cultured cell lines widely used as models for colorectal cancer.

Incubation of one cancer cell line with increasing concentrations of olive oil phenols for 24 hours protected the cells from DNA damage, the investigators found.

The effect of olive oil phenols on another cell line after 48 hours of exposure suggested that they may "exert an anti-promoter effect in the carcinogenesis pathway."

Olive oil is suggested to be responsible in part for the beneficial nature of the 'Mediterranean diet' and the researchers' data support this view, and provides some possible mechanisms for its action.

Posted by Richard at October 26, 2005 11:10 PM



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