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Bowel cancers: extra virgin olive oil helps fight and prevent them


Following research conducted by Antonio Moschetta of the University of Bari, it was found that daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps prevent and fight intestinal cancers. The work, which lasted five years, involved an American scientist, three colleagues from Toulouse and a group from Cambridge. The findings were published in the journal Gastroenterology.

“Extra virgin olive oil is rich in oleic acid, a substance that can regulate cell proliferation. In preclinical studies, we were able to simulate altered genes and states of intestinal inflammation, demonstrating that the administration of an oleic acid-enriched diet can provide significant health benefits. These positive effects also appear to be due to the presence of the enzyme SCD1 in the intestinalepithelium, which functions as the main regulator of oleic acid production in our body.” These are Moschetta’s words.

The researchers were focused on a molecule contained in extra virgin olive oil: oleic acid. They inactivated the gene encoding for SCD1 and showed that in the absence of this molecule in the diet and under conditions of decreased endogenous production, inflammation and then the development of tumors in the gut is first created.

Moschetta concludes.: “If oleic acid is added to the diet instead, normal intestinal physiology is restored with reduction of inflammation and protection against tumor formation. By taking advantage of the beneficial properties of oleic acid, it will be possible in the future to reduce tumor occurrence especially in patients with intestinal inflammation or already previously affected by this disease, and to slow its growth and improve the anti-cancer treatments already in use by enhancing their effect.”

The solution, therefore, is to use one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil at lunch and one tablespoon at dinner, in addition to the one used for dressing. They need to be especially careful for patients with an inherited predisposition to colon cancer or for those with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.


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