FOUR TABLESPOONS OF OLIVE OIL TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER
It is already widely accepted that the Mediterranean diet and olive oil, its main component, are healthy. But until now, no one had scientifically measured their benefits through a randomized study. This study, coordinated by the University of Navarra and the Biomedical Research Centre on the Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition, which was published yesterday, concluded that just four tablespoons of olive oil per day reduce the risk of breast cancer by two thirds.
"The studies conducted prior to this were based on observation. This is the first study that offers highly-scientific results after an average follow-up time of 4.8 years in a sample with 4,282 women," explained Professor of Preventative Medicine and Public Health, Miguel Angel Martínez-González, coordinator of the study and researcher at the Navarra Health Research Institute.
THE POSSIBLE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ON PATIENTS WITH ALS
Research conducted by the University of Zaragoza has shown how a diet enriched with liquid gold can improve motor and muscular function and prolong the lives of rats with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
A research study conducted on rats affected by amyotrophic lateral disease (ALS), a degenerative neuromuscular disease, showed that after consuming a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, the rats' motor and muscular function improved and they lived longer.
According to a press release published by the University of Zaragoza, this study is at the core of the doctoral thesis titled "Alteración de la autofagia y su modulación por una dieta rica en lípidos en un modelo murino de Esclerosis Lateral Amiotrófica (Alteration of autophagy and its modulation through a diet rich in lipids in the murine model of Amyotrophic Lateral Disease)", conducted by the research group at the University’s Genetic Biochemistry Lab (Lagengio).
THE RESULTS OF THE PREDIMED STUDY ON THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET, LED BY RESEARCHERS FROM THE UB, HAVE BEEN RELEASED.
The results of the Prevention Study with the Mediterranean Diet (PREDIMED), published by The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that the Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts and extra virgin olive oil reduces the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke or death due to cardiovascular causes by 30%. The study was coordinated by the researcher Ramon Estruch, of the University of Barcelona's Medical School, and by the Clinical Hospital and centres affiliated with the University of Barcelona's Health Campus (HUBc). It also included the participation of Professor Rosa M. Lamuela and her team from the Natural Antioxidant Research Group, of the Pharmacy School, located on the internationally renowned Barcelona Knowledge Campus (BKC). This group was responsible for determining the effects of the Mediterranean diet on biomarkers.
The study is part of the PREDIMED project, a multi-centre clinical trial carried out between 2003 and 2011 that evaluated the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The clinical trial was financed by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III through thematic cooperative research networks (RETIC RD06/0045) and through the Biomedical Research Centre on the Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn).
This nutritional intervention study included 7,447 people at high vascular risk that were randomly divided into three groups: Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds), and diet low in all types of fats (animal and vegetable). Throughout the study, the participants assigned to each one of the two Mediterranean diet groups were given free extra-virgin olive oil (one litre per week) or nuts (30 grams per day: 15 grams of walnuts, 7.5 grams of almonds and 7.5 grams of hazelnuts). After five years of follow-up, it was shown that the participants from the two Mediterranean diet groups presented a lower frequency of myocardial infarction, stroke and death due to cardiovascular causes than the control group. This aims to prevent fraud, guaranteeing the maximum quality of the product, and also to improve the general image of Spanish olive oil and the competitiveness of Spanish products and companies. This regulation is set out within the Action Plan for the EU Olive Oil Sector, which pursues the same objectives at the international level.
According to the researchers, the results of the PREDIMED study are of great importance, given that they show that a diet high in vegetable fat is more heart-healthy than a diet that is low in this kind of fat. The authors state that, up until now, this has been a controversial issue, and that the study provides new scientific data to dismiss the idea that it is necessary to reduce the fat in our diets in order to have better cardiovascular health.