My wife makes some incredible homemade bread. It's all from scratch. She grinds her own wheat. And when it's baking, the house smells wonderful. One of my favorite ways to eat her bread is with olive oil. I love to use freshly ground pepper or a little Parmesan cheese and dip the bread. It's absolutely fabulous! But what's even more fabulous is a discovery researchers recently made concerning olive oil's ability to fight cancer.
You probably already know about olive oil's heart-health benefits. Two years ago, I told you about exciting research that showed how a compound in olive oil can protect your brain and fight cancer. The researchers conducting this new study knew that olive oil could kill cancer. But they didn't know how. So they did a laboratory experiment to find out.
The team of researchers was from Rutgers University and Hunter College. They found that oleocanthal, a phenolic compound in extra virgin olive oil, can kill cancer cells in less than an hour. In fact, there were times when it worked in just 30 minutes. Imagine that! A natural compound that starts to kill cancer cells in just 30 minutes.
The only problem with this study was that it was a culture model. But the compound's ability to destroy the cells so quickly gives researchers great hope that it can do the same in humans.
So did the researchers discover how olive oil works? Yes! And what they found is really cool.
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Inside a cell there is a vesicle (like a pouch) that stores the cell's waste. In cancer cells, the vesicles are quite large — larger than a normal cell. And they store a lot of waste. This waste is toxic. So the cell has to separate it from the functioning parts of the cell or it'll destroy its ability to function properly. When they applied the oleocanthal, it punctured the vesicle and released those toxins.
Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers and coauthor of the new study, said, "Once you open one of those things, all hell breaks loose." The chaos the oleocanthal causes destroys the cancer cell very quickly.
What's more, the compound doesn't do any damage to healthy cells. It did temporarily stop their cycles, but it just "put them to sleep," Breslin says. Within 24 hours, the cycles resumed in the healthy cells.
So if you're looking for a tasty way to fight cancer and keep your heart healthy, include olive oil in your diet every day. You can find olive oil at any grocery store. Make sure it's fresh and extra virgin.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.