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How olive oil helps fight breast cancer

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Recent research shows that extra virgin olive oil with the Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risks of breast cancer in women.

In 2019 in Canada, over 26,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 will die as a result of it according to Health Canada. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet with a little extra virgin olive oil have a lower risk of breast cancer, researchers reported in yet another study showing the health benefits of the approach. 

Women who participated in the study who added extra-virgin olive oil to their diet had a 62 percent lower risk of breast cancer over the next five years or so, according to researchers at the University of Navarra in Pamplona.

The study was done in Spain, where people predominantly eat a Mediterranean diet. The diet is characterized by lots of salad, fruit, vegetables, nuts, a little fish, a little lean meat, a small amount of cheese — and olive oil, of course. Wine is also served at meals.

The volunteers in the trial, however, were given extra counseling, and a weekly supply of either extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts.

The 4,282 women in the trial were, on average, about 68 and obese, with an average body mass index of 30.4 — just over the line for clinical obesity.

“Women allocated to the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil showed a 62 percent relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet.”

“After a median follow-up of 4.8 years, we identified 35 confirmed incident cases of breast cancer,” Miguel Martínez-González and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Women allocated to the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil showed a 62 percent relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet.” You can read a transcript of the study here.

Before you run to the supermarket and buy a big jug of olive oil, It’s important to note that the benefits come from EVOO or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is cold-pressed from fresh olives and regular olive oil comes from the mash of the first press. It is the first press that holds the valuable elements to help fight breast cancer and makes it more flavourful. It is harder to find true EVOO in grocery stores today where much of it can be mislabeled and a mix with second and third pressed oils.

You can buy superb EVOO products in Canada through Liquid Gold who can ship it anywhere in Canada to your door.

The study is considered unusually strong because people are randomly assigned to different diets. It accounts for the possibility that people who choose to follow a certain healthy diet pattern may do other things differently, too.

The study’s already shown some startling effects — the healthful diet with extra nuts and olive oil has been shown to help people live longer and avoid heart disease cutting the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent, and it may also help preserve their brains.

Now breast cancer is added to the list – but only among those who got the extra virgin olive oil. The women who got the nut mixture also had a slightly lower risk of breast cancer, but the results were not strong enough to be considered significant.

“The Mediterranean dietary pattern has attracted considerable attention because, historically, breast cancer rates have been lower in Mediterranean countries than in Northern or Central European countries or the United States,” the researchers wrote.

It took a lot of olive oil to get the protection – it had to make up 15 percent or more of calories.

“All types of olive oil provide a high supply of monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid, as well as squalene.”

More Insight: You might also enjoy this article on understanding different fats that are good for you.

Author: Alex Hurst is a writer for OptiMYz magazine digital content.

Featured Partner Content: This article was sponsored by Liquid Gold, purveyors of the finest olive oils and vinegars. Liquid Gold ships across Canada.


  • Alex Hurst is a writer for HUM@Nmedia covering Optimyz and Silver magazines in print and digital editions and is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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