A new study suggests that people using olive oil in their daily diets can prevent damage to body cells that may eventually lead to cancer.
The study was conducted on 182 healthy men between the ages of 20 and 60 from five European countries. The men consumed a quarter cup of olive oil each day for 2 weeks. And at the end of the study, there was a reduction in a substance called 8oxodG, which is responsible for oxidative damage to cells’ DNA.
These findings may explain why rates of cancer are higher in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe (where olive oil is a dietary staple). The findings also suggest that olive oil may be the reason that certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon and prostate cancers, are less common in Mediterranean countries than in Northern Europe.
These findings support advice to replace saturated fats from foods like meat and butter with vegetable fats, particularly olive oil. The researchers think that the monounsaturated fats present in olive oil may be behind the effect.