Olive oil and cancer

olive oil

Benefits of olive oil in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer
Javier Menendez Spanish scientist, specialist in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research Institute of Northwestern Health Chicago (USA) confirmed at the genetic level the benefits of olive oil in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

The study’s findings, which also participated Ramon Colomer, head of the Division of Medical Oncology, Catalan Institute of Oncology, published in the latest issue of the Annals of Oncology ‘.

Spanish scientists have demonstrated in laboratory experiments on different cell lines of breast cancer that oleic acid, the main component of olive oil, greatly reduced levels of an oncogene called Her-2/neu. High levels of Her-2/neu (also known as erb B-2) are found in approximately 20-30% of breast cancer patients and are associated with highly aggressive tumors that have a poor prognosis.

Oleic acid
Colomer said it was the first time you attach a component of the diet, oleic acid (main component of olive oil) with reduced levels of an oncogene from studies in molecular biology. Moreover, according to Colomer, oleic acid not only suppress the overproduction of the gene, but also doubles the antitumor efficacy of trastuzumab, the antibody treatment that targets the Her-2/neu gene and has helped extend the lives of many breast cancer patients.

Meanwhile, Javier Menendez said that the diet of monounsaturated fatty acids, on which had been suggested that protected against breast cancer significantly reduces the presence of the oncogene Her-2/neu, cutting it to 46%. Together with the sensitizing effect of oleic acid on the efficacy of trastuzumab, the scientists found an increase in the presence of p27Kip1, a tumor suppressor protein that is involved in the development of resistance to treatment with trastuzumab.

Prevention and new research
Javier Menendez said that have been discovered high levels of Her-2/neu in early lesions of breast tissue in which there have been significant risk of cancer development. Therefore, the ability of oleic acid suppress the expression of Her-2/neu may also reduce the risk of occurrence and malignant progression in breast cancer.

For Menendez, their findings not only help understand the molecular mechanism by which dietary fatty acids regulate the malignant behavior of breast cancer cells, but also suggests that dietary interventions based on oleic acid may delay or prevent the trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer patients with Her-2/neu oncogene.

Experts are now looking to identify the molecular mechanism by which oleic acid supplementation inhibits the expression of Her-2/neu, as blocking action appears to work differently than in the trastuzumab. According to investigators, while it is important to be caautelosos on implicciones the study, since not always the laboratory results are moved into practice, their findings present the concept that a high level of oleic acid in breast tissue provide an effective way to influence the outcome of breast cancer patients carrying high levels of harmful gene.

Tips, diet …
According to scientists, the results of their study could also help in designing future epidemiological studies and lead, ultimately, in dietary advice to delay or prevent the development of drug resistance in patients taking trastuzumab.

Although research with oleic acid and its relationship with cancer began in Spain in 1996, the most brilliant results, as Ramon Colomer has been made in U.S. facilities in which is currently developing its scientific work Javier Menendez.

According to Ramon Colomer, the Spanish Government should enhance the return to country areas of research like this that could also be beneficial for the Spanish oil industry, the first in olive oil production worldwide. The investigation of oleic acid and its effects on breast cancer treatment began in 1996 as part of a special Ministry of Science and Technology to stimulate research on the beneficial effects of olive oil on health. The current findings are the result of continued work by Javier Menendez and his team to move the Spanish scientific career to the United States.