Olive oil acid 'cuts cancer risk'
The Mediterranean diet is believed to be very healthy
Scientists in Chicago say they have uncovered why a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil seems to cut the risk of developing breast cancer.
The key is an ingredient of olive oil called oleic acid, they say.
Northwestern University laboratory tests on breast cancer cells showed the acid sharply cut levels of a gene thought to trigger the disease.
Cancer charities said the study, in Annals of Oncology, was interesting, but more research was needed.
Much more work will be needed to determine whether this is of any importance for breast cancer in women
Professor Tim Key
The researchers found that oleic acid cut activity levels of a gene called Her-2/neu, which occurs at high levels in over a fifth of breast cancer patients and is associated with highly aggressive tumours with a poor prognosis.
Not only did oleic acid suppress activity of the gene, it also boosted the effectiveness of a breast cancer drug called herceptin, which has helped to prolong the lives of many patients.
Lead researcher Dr Javier Menendez said: "Our findings underpin epidemiological studies that show that the Mediterranean diet has significant protective effects against cancer, heart disease and ageing."
It's ringed of course by the usual "more research is needed" but a this thought occured to me: If a diet change positively effects progression of one disease in some people why shouldn't a suitable change postively effect mine
More research is needed indeed!!