Researchers have discovered that olive oil is able to counteract and prevent intestinal tumors. How is it possible? The curative potential of olive oil can be attributed to oleic acid which manages to regulate intestinal proliferation, decreasing inflammation and therefore slowing, if not preventing, the disease.

Adding olive oil to our food every day prevents and fights intestinal tumors. To give us the news is Antonio Moschetta of the University of Bari, which is arrived to this conclusion thanks to a study supported by the Italian Association for Research on Cancer (Airc) and whose results are published in the Gastroenterology magazine. How is it possible?

How does oil counteract bowel cancer

 "Extra virgin olive oil – explains Moschetta – is rich in oleic acid, a substance capable of regulating cell proliferation. In preclinical studies we have been able to simulate altered genes and states of intestinal inflammation, demonstrating that a diet enriched with oleic acid is able to guarantee considerable health benefits. "In short, eating oil every day is good for your health, although obviously to get benefits we must not overdo portions.

What makes oil an anti-cancer oil product?

These positive effects seem to be due also to the presence of the scd-1 enzyme, the experts explain, which is found in the intestinal epithelium and works as the main regulator of the production of oleic acid in our body. In practice, scientists have deactivated the gene that codes for this scd-1 and have noticed that in the absence of oleic acid in the diet and in conditions of decreased endogenous production by this enzyme, the body first undergoes inflammation that develops in spontaneous tumors bowel.

Oil in the diet every day

The researchers noted that instead adding oleic acid to the diet it was possible to restore normal intestinal physiology and consequently reduce inflammation, increasing protection against tumor formation.


The study allows us to think about exploiting the beneficial properties of oleic acid to reduce the onset of cancer in patients suffering from intestinal inflammation or intestinal tumors: the oil could therefore be used to slow down the growth of the disease and improve the effects of the traditional treatments used today.