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Study Finds How Olive Oil Helps Breast Cell Health

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, July 18, 2010, abstracted from “Dietary olive oil and corn oil differentially affect experimental breast cancer through distinct modulation of the p21Ras signaling and the proliferation-apoptosis balance” in Carcinogenesis, 2010; 31 (5).

Keywords: Breast cancer, olive oil

Breast cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of American women after lung cancer, responsible for the deaths of an estimated 40,580 women in 2004 (1) and contributing significantly to cancer's overall cost to society of $219 billion per year (2). Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to help with breast cell health. These include resveratrol (3), kelp (4), vitamin E (5), black cohosh (6), soy (7), curcumin (8), folic acid (9), lignans (studies in 2006 (10) and 2007 (11)), green tea (12), fiber (13), and vitamin D (14).

Now a new study in mice (15) may have discovered the mechanism by which olive oil can help maintain breast cell health. In the study, researchers found that 20 mice with breast cancer fed a diet comprising 17% extra virgin olive oil by weight (compared to 20 mice fed a control diet of 3% corn oil by weight) had a 57% decrease in activity of a protein called Ras, known to be involved in breast cancer (16). They also had a 25% increase in a “natural cell death” process called apoptosis as well as 33% lower levels of a protein called PCNA, indicative of decreased DNA damage compared to placebo (17).

For the researchers, “The present study shows that the [extra virgin olive oil] diet…decreases Ras activity…in favor of apoptosis.”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at PitchingDoc@msn.com or visiting his web site at www.PitchingDoc.com

Reference:

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2. “Costs of Cancer” posted on www.cancer.org/docroot/MIT/content/MIT_3_2X_Costs_of_Cancer.asp
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14. Prognostic Effects of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Early Breast Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 27, No 23 (August 10), 2009: pp. 3757-3763
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