Friday, February 06, 2009

Olive oil cures all

My mother is Spanish, and growing up, she always touted olive oil as being the cure to every ailment. If I had an ear infection, she would shove a cotton ball with olive oil in my ear, for dry skin or scalp just massage-in some olive oil, for a burn, yep you guessed it, olive oil. Incidentally the same goes for food, and there isn't any ingredient that can't be combined with olive oil to make it better, even marmalade for toasts. I figured it has something to do with my ancestors growing olive trees. I constantly have to defend my work by explaining that all cancers are not a result of poor diet, and that no, it wouldn't be better to treat with olive oil. Well I may have to eat my words (coated in delicious oil) according to a recent study by a team of spaniards. According to them, polyphenols present in extra virgin olive oil (such as hydroxitirosol, tirosol, elenolic acid, lignans, pinoresinol and acetopinoresinol, and secoiridoids, diacetox oleuropein aglycone, ligustrosid aglycone and oleuropein aglycone) have specific anti-HER2 effects in breast cancer cells in the micromolar range. HER2 is not only inhibited by the polyphenols, but also promoted for proteosomal degradation.

The authors conclude: "Our current findings not only molecularly support recent epidemiological evidence revealing that EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)-related anti-breast cancer effects primarily affect the occurrence of breast tumors over-expressing the type I receptor tyrosine kinase HER2 but further suggest that the stereochemistry of EVOO-derived lignans and secoiridoids might provide an excellent and safe platform for the design of new HER2 targeted anti-breast cancer drugs."

Papers can be found in int j onc, and BMC cancer


The Doc said...

I hear that it also puts hair on your chest and back...