Scientific studies have shown that monounsaturated fats and phenols found in olive oil help the body neutralise free radicals, thereby reducing the possibility of the occurrence of various types of cancer.
The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.
A new study has proven that an ingredient in extra virgin olive oil can kill cancer cells. The researchers discovered that oleocanthal caused cancer cells to break down and die very quickly; within 30 minutes, instead of the 16 to 24 hours it takes for programmed cell death, known as apoptosis.