It’s official. Long hailed for it’s anti-inflammatory qualities in heart health, pain relief and memory protection, extra virgin olive (EVOO) wins the most coveted medal now: for it’s role in destruction of cancer cells. Scientists have now proven that the oleocanthal compound found in EVOO causes cell death in cancer cells, via a paper published in Molecular & Cellular Oncology.
Oleocantha’s targets and kills only cancer cells while leaving good cells intact, and can prove an ideal option for therapeutic cancer treatment. Paul Breslin, co-author of the study, said “The mechanism of killing cancer cells and sparing healthy cells, lysosomal membrane permeabilisation, has been hypothesised as a possible mechanism of effectively killing cancer cells and sparing healthy tissues but has never been realised before. Our realisation of this makes this paper of particular therapeutic interest for cancer treatment.” While the Mediterranean diet has been proven to be heart healthy, this particular study points directly to it’s benefits being attributed to EVOO’s component, oleocanthal, as playing an especially important role in these observations. As more people turn to the Mediterranean diet as a healthy life option, oleocanthal is growing in its significance as a key active component of this diet.
A key point to remember when purchasing EVOO, is that it should say “cold pressed” somewhere on the bottle and be green-ish in colour and preferably in a glass bottle. Glass preserves the anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO. Also, never cook with EVOO. Use it for cold salads and as a spread on toast instead of butter.
D A Fostera et al. (-)-Oleocanthal rapidly and selectively induces cancer cell death via lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP). Molecular & Cellular Oncology, March 2015 DOI: 10.1080/23723556.2015.1006077