The key to preventing brain cancer could be found in the form of primary olive oil compound – oleic acid – researchers have revealed.
In a study published in Journal of Molecular Biology scientists at University of Edinburgh and colleagues have revealed how there could be possible therapies based on the oil to prevent brain cancer from occurring. Researchers have shown that oleic acid — the primary ingredient in olive oil — can help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells.
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.
The scientists 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, the study said. Researchers made their discoveries in tests on human cell extracts and in living cells in the laboratory.
Scientists behind the study are quick to warn that they can’t for certain say that olive oil in the diet helps prevent brain cancer, but their findings do suggest that oleic acid can support the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab.
Through further studies and investigations, scientists could determine the role that olive oil might have in brain health.