A Component of Olive Oil Could Help Prevent Brain Cancer
A compound found in olive oil may help prevent brain cancer, a study shows.
Research into oleic acid — the primary ingredient in olive oil — has shown how it can help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells.
The oily substance — one of a group of nutrients known as fatty acids — stimulates the production of a cell molecule whose function is to prevent cancer-causing proteins from forming.
The study team from the University of Edinburgh says it is too soon to say whether dietary consumption of olive oil may help prevent brain cancer. Their findings, however, point towards possible therapies based on the oil to prevent brain cancer from occurring.
Scientists from the university analyzed the effect of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7, which is active in the brain and is known to suppress the formation of tumors.
They found that oleic acid prevents a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping the production of miR-7. In this way, the olive oil component supports the production of miR-7, which helps prevent tumors from forming.
Researchers made their discoveries in tests on human cell extracts and in living cells in the lab.
The study was published in the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Dr. Gracjan Michlewski of the university’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said in a news release: “While we cannot yet say that olive oil in the diet helps prevent brain cancer, our findings do suggest that oleic acid can support the production of tumor-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab. Further studies could help determine the role that olive oil might have in brain health.”