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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Four teaspoons of olive oil a day, keeps cancer at bay!

Daily Express: Four teaspoons of olive oil a day can help prevent cancer, scientists revealed yesterday.

The oil, found in Mediterranean diets, cuts levels of substances in the blood which can trigger the disease. Just a small amount of the oil every day helps protect against cell damage which can lead to tumours developing.

The research may help explain why many cancer rates are higher in northern Europe than in the south, where olive oil is a major part of the cuisine. Researchers also suggest that combining a wider Mediterranean diet – rich in fruit, vegetables and pasta – with the use of olive oil provides an even greater chance of cutting the risk of cancer as well as fighting Alzheimer’s, obesity and heart disease.

People in Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy live longer than those in other European countries, while rates of breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer are much lower. Dr Henrik Poulsen, who led the research, said: “Every piece of evidence so far points to olive oil being a healthy food.”

Daily Express doctor Rosemary Leonard, a GP, said: “The Mediterranean diet is very good for you.” Dr Poulsen and his team at Copenhagen University Hospital studied a large group of healthy men aged 20 to 60 from five European countries. The scientists then added olive oil to their diet over a period of two weeks.

At the end of the study, they measured levels of 8oxodG a substance in urine which indicates oxidative damage to cells. Oxidative damage is where the balance of a cell is disrupted, exposing it to substances that result in the accumulation of free-radicals – particles known to cause cancer.

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