It is no surprise that olive oil has been at the foundation of one of this world’s longest-existing cultures. Its health benefits are nearly unrivaled and now there is yet another good reason to incorporate extra virgin olive oil into your diet: reducing the risk of breast cancer. A recent study in Spain concludes that just four spoons of olive oil per day reduce the risk of suffering breast cancer by 66 percent.
That is exciting news in the war against cancer, where conventional medicine has been more focused on treatment instead of prevention, and the incidence of recurrence has been exhaustively high. There are many heart-healthy reasons to make olive oil a regular part of your daily diet. You can now add cancer-prevention to the list.
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Cutting cancer risk by two-thirds with extra virgin olive oil
The Spanish study began back in 2003 with 7,447 participants. Its purpose was to look at cardiovascular disease as well as breast cancer. Results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
For the breast cancer portion of the study, thousands of participating families were given a liter of extra virgin olive oil on a weekly basis for five years to ensure the oil was readily available. Researchers then monitored 4,282 women in those families who had identical health and lifestyle characteristics other than diet. They divided the subjects, who were aged 60 to 80, into three groups. The first group consumed a diet rich in olive oil (about 50 g. every day). The second group’s diet was rich in dried fruits and nuts, and the third group followed a low-fat diet.
The study’s results showed that over the five-year period, women who consumed four spoons of olive oil each day saw their breast cancer risk cut by two-thirds. However, those who ate an increased amount of nuts or ate a low-fat diet saw no significant changes in incidence of breast cancer. None of the women participating in the study had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer.
Earlier experiments with animals have shown the polyphenol in extra virgin olive oil to slow the progression of cancer cells, decreasing opportunity for cancerous cells to spread and form malignant tumors. Research has also known that the oil suppresses activity of some of the proteins necessary for survival of cancer cells. In addition, extra virgin olive oil is thought to act as a protectant for the DNA of the cell nucleus. The combination of these effects greatly slows the spread of cancerous tumors.
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Protect yourself from cancer by using olive oil on a daily basis
Breast cancer is a very common form of cancer in the western world. But, the incidence of cancer, overall in Mediterranean countries – where extra virgin olive oil is a staple – cancer rates are lower than in the United States, Scandinavian countries or the United Kingdom.
Extra virgin olive oil acts as a natural antioxidant, diminishing free radicals that cause disease brought on by oxidative stress to the cell. Oxidative stress has been linked to cancer as well as heart disease, arthritis, stroke, respiratory ills, immune deficiency, Parkinson’s disease and other inflammatory conditions.
To reap all the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, simply incorporate the oil into your food preparation and diet on a regular basis. Reduce your consumption of other types of fats and oils, which may be detrimental to health such as trans fats, denatured vegetable oils and factory-farmed animal foods – which are loaded with unwanted chemicals.
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About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalHeatlh365 Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalHealth365 INNER CIRCLE – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.