Spanish researchers say they have come closer to understanding how olive oil may help fight cancer.
It is already thought that extra virgin olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, can help reduce peoples risk of developing cancer due to its abundance of polyphenols.
In the new study, the scientists focused on testing whether extra virgin olive oil was able to combat breast cancer cells. In particular, they looked at HER2-positive cancers, which tend to recur more often than HER2-negative cancers.
The findings, published in the journal BMC Cancer, indicate that polyphenols were able to inhibit HER-2 positive cells, which resulted in their death.
According to the scientists, the results could lead to new anti-cancer compounds based on this ingredient in olive oil.
Previous research has found that consuming extra virgin olive oil can benefit people suffering from oxidative stress and osteoporosis.
Extra virgin olive oil has a higher concentration of polyphenols because it is unrefined. Many people combine nutritional supplements with a Mediterranean diet to improve or maintain their health.