|IBS and IBD In The News|
Olive Oil May Ward Off Bowel CancerOnHealth Oct. 6, 2000
A new study shows that olive oil, a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, may help to prevent colon cancer.
Researchers compared information about eating habits and the incidence of colon cancer in most of Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia and China. Their findings were as follows:
- A diet high in meat and fish correlates to a higher risk of colon cancer.
- A diet high in only meat (with few cereals and vegetables) is also associated with a greater risk of colon cancer.
- Olive oil protects against colon cancer even if fruit and vegetable consumption are low.
The reason why meat consumption contributes to colon cancer is that it can increase the amount of bile acid, called deoxycyclic acid, in the body. The acid reduces the enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO). It's currently thought that DAO regulates cells in the bowel, so if the amount of DAO is decreased, it may contribute to an increase in abnormal cells. These abnormal cells are a signal for the development of cancer.
Olive oil may protect the bowel by decreasing the amount of deoxycyclic acid, and thereby halting the increase in abnormal cells.
A note from your About Guide: Even though it's good news that olive oil may help protect us from colon cancer, everyone should still get their 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day!