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A compound found in olive oil may help fight against brain cancer, according to a new study which found that it can prevent tumour formation.

Oleic acid – the primary ingredient in olive oil – can help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells, researchers said.

The oily substance – one of a group of nutrients known as fatty acids – stimulates the production of a cell molecule whose function is to prevent cancer-causing proteins from forming, they said.

“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,” said Gracjan Michlewski from University of Edinburgh in the UK.

Researchers analysed the effect of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7, which is active in the brain and is known to suppress the formation of tumours.

They found that oleic acid prevents 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.


Source: THe Tribune

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