Ingredient “Oleocanthal” in Olive Oil Looks Promising in the Fight Against Cancer


A new study has proven that oleocanthal, an ingredient found in extra-virgin olive oil, may be capable of killing cancer cells in less than 30 minutes, while leaving healthy cells safe and sound. According to the WHO World Cancer Report 2014, there were more than 14 million new cases of cancer in 2012 and more than 8 million deaths. The researchers from Hunter College, Rutgers University, and the Monell Chemical Senses Center investigated the effect of oleocanthal on prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells. Oleocanthal has been shown to interfere with processes associated with many types of inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer formation and growth.

Cancer cell dead in 30 minutes

After applying oleocanthal to the cancer cells, the researchers discovered that the cancer cells were dying very quickly—within 30 minutes to an hour. Programmed cell death takes between 16 and 24 hours, so the scientists realized that something else had to be causing the cancer cells to break down and die. The new findings suggest that the lysosomal membranes of cancer cells are weaker than those of normal cells. Because of its effect on them, oleocanthal may turn out to be an effective treatment for cancer.

Oleocanthal kills cancer without harming healthy cells

Oleocanthal works on lysosomes within the cancer cells. Lysosomes are small organelles which are the cell’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. They are also the place where cells store waste. Cancer cells have fragile lysosomal membranes compared to healthy cells. The Oleocanthal breaks open the membrane around the lysosomes in cancer cells but leaves noncancerous cells intact.

“We needed to determine if oleocanthal was targeting that protein and causing the cells to die,” said Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences, in a university release.

Other uses and benefits of extra virgin olive oil

-Boost your sex life
-It strengthens your immune system
-Also effective in preventing gall stones
-Protective Against Cardiovascular Disease
-Olive oil is known to aid in the digestive process
-Olive oil can protect from mental illness, including depression
-Extra virgin olive oil, has shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent

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