"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 tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab," lead researcher Gracjan Michlewski, University of Edinburgh in Britain was quoted by IANS.
Oleic acid is the primary compound found in olive oil and stimulates the production of a cancer-preventing cell molecule. Oleic acid is alternatively known as omega 9 and is easily found in ingredients like avocados, table olives and canola oil. Soybean, sunflower oil, peanut oil and palm oil are some of the secondary sources of oleic acid.
The effects of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7 were examined. miR-7 is is known to suppress tumour formation in the brain. Oleic acid seemed to prevent a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping production of miR-7. In this way, the olive oil component supports the production of miR-7, which helps prevent tumours from forming, the study said. Researchers made their discoveries in tests on human cell extracts and in living cells in the laboratory. The study paves way to further investigations on oleic acid's role in cancer prevention, brain cancer specially.
Inputs from IANS