Olive oil is a vital part of Italian cuisine. Serving as both a cooking element and condiment, olive oil is an indispensable and versatile "liquid gold" that enhances flavors of a long list of dishes. It even has anti-aging antioxidants and squalene, which is great for revitalizing the hair, skin and nails.
However, new research suggests that olive oil's uses doesn't stop on one's cooking or skin- it can also be possibly used to fight brain cancer. Oleic acid, the main ingredient of olive oil, was found to help prevent genes in cells that can cause cancer.
In their study, published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, researchers analyzed the effect of this fatty acid on a cell molecule, miR-7, which is known to suppress tumours from forming. To test, they utilized human cell extracts and living cells in the laboratory. Results showed that oleic acid prevents a cancer-causing cell protein (known as MSI2) from halting the cell molecule's production. Hence, olive oil's help on miR-7's production consequently helps impede the tumor's formation.
"While we cannot yet say that olive oil in the diet helps prevent brain cancer, our findings do suggest that oleic acid can support the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab. Further studies could help determine the role that olive oil might have in brain health," said lead author Dr Gracjan Michlewski of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences.
Nonetheless, we can always stick to its culinary uses and enjoy its possible benefits through a hearty meal!