For 10 years, thousands of women were getting a liter of extra virgin olive oil every week in the largest study about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. After years of tracking, this research has shown that liquid gold is a powerful protection against breast cancer.
The study began in 2003 with 7,447 participants from seven communities to check the cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Twelve years later, the work continues to show data, this time in relation to the most common tumor in women.
Specifically, the results presented and published in JAMA Internal Medicine, show that women who consume about four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day reduced to two-thirds their risk of developing breast cancer.
As explained the author of this study – participants (4,282 women) were divided into three groups whose characteristics were identical except for the diet: Mediterranean rich in olive oil (50 grams daily) rich in nuts (30 grams of walnuts and almonds or hazelnuts) and a low fat Mediterranean diet.
Among all women, the number of cases of breast cancer along five years of tracking was only 35 (a very low number considering that one in eight should have developed, according to statistics). Probably, the authors believe, because they all had a fairly healthy diet (“the third group wasn’t told to eat hamburgers every day). In the case of olive oil reduction the risk for of cancer no less than 68% was observed. Nuts diet showed some protection, but did not reach statistical significance.
Some polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil in cell lines and animal experiments have demonstrated their ability to stop cancer progression. Therefore, the hypothesis that consumption of olive oil (always talking about the extra virgin variety) would be able to stop the evolution of some very early malignant cells that may have some of these 4,000 women.
The study excluded patients already diagnosed with breast cancer at the time of its inclusion, but it would be interesting to assess the effect of olive oil in patients already diagnosed with tumors. In his view, this condiment has no health risk, any patient should include in your diet without hesitation.
12 years ago, when a group of researchers of the ability to scientifically measure the benefits of olive oil, even the producers of liquid gold raised them much attention. So with funding from the Institute of Health, they bought in the supermarket extra virgin olive oil to reach 200 health centers. With the same public funding also they paid the salaries of nurses and dietitians weekly training sessions offered to the 7,000 volunteers who would check in their own flesh the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. A third of them (men and women, although the breast cancer data refer only to the participants) ‘just’ had to eat a low fat diet. A second group should eat 15 grams daily of nuts and almonds or hazelnuts 15 (which also gave them to hand in their outpatient). The last third received a liter of olive oil consumption of the whole family. The indication is not used in any other type of oil at home, no butter or sunflower, or cooking or raw. Slowly producers of olive oil made aware of the importance of the experiment and began to provide free olive oil needed to continue collecting data. In 2013 findings on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and olive oil for the heart and the study was stopped, but still throw the data. As explained lead author, through the medical records of the participants still its major clinical events so it is likely that in coming years the range of benefits of the oil will be further collected.