We are still in pink October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in this report we will discuss the role of a type of vegetable oil in preventing the disease, and then examine what scientific studies have to say on the topic.

We start with the Turkish nutritionist and dietician Janil Oner Sayar, who said that consuming 30.5 grams of olive oil per day, equivalent to 3 teaspoons, protects women from breast cancer, according to Anadolu Agency.

In an article published on the Medipol University Hospital website, Sayar explained that olive oil is an essential component of the so-called Mediterranean diet.

She pointed out that the average person in the Mediterranean consumes 15 kilograms of olive oil annually.

 It also reported that the Mediterranean diet contributes to reducing the risk of cancer, chronic diseases, heart disease, and stress.

She pointed out that olive oil is rich in vitamin E, which contributes to protecting the skin and its freshness, and is rich in antioxidants, which makes it play a role in delaying aging, in addition to its great benefits on hair.

She added that olive oil is also useful for cases of constipation, facilitating digestion, and cleaning the intestines.

On the other hand, Sayar warned against excessive consumption of olive oil in the long run, which may lead to some negative results.

And she added that a person who needs two thousand calories a day, is sufficient to eat about 200 to 300 calories of olive oil, which is equivalent to two tablespoons of oil.


Olive oil reduces the risk of breast cancer

Higher olive oil consumption is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study, published by Harvard Health, found that older women in Spain who ate a traditional Mediterranean diet fortified with extra-virgin olive oil were less likely to develop breast cancer.

The researchers examined 3 different groups of women.

One of them followed the Mediterranean diet plus extra servings of olive oil.

The second followed the diet plus extra servings of nuts.

Those in the third group were called upon to reduce their fat intake.

The study followed about 4,300 women between the ages of 60 and 80 for 5 years.

 During the study period, 35 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.

There were 62% fewer cancers in the group that ate the olive oil-fortified diet, compared to the women who had just been told to reduce their fat intake.

However, we must understand that although olive oil appears to play a role in reducing the risk of breast cancer, it is unlikely that olive oil is the solution to preventing breast cancer, as there are other factors that play a role in the disease.


Need more research

According to a meta-analysis that examined the relationship of olive oil and breast cancer risk, olive oil consumption is believed to be inversely related to breast cancer risk, possibly due to its high monounsaturated fatty acid content and polyphenols.

The researchers identified 10 observational studies, the results of which were published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The research review concluded that there may be a possible inverse association between olive oil intake and breast cancer, however, given the level of certainty is very low, additional prospective studies are needed with a better evaluation of olive oil consumption.


Breast cancer prevention factors

The World Health Organization says that nearly half of breast cancers affect women who have no specific risk factors for breast cancer other than gender (female) and age (over 40 years).

Certain factors increase the risk of breast cancer including advanced age and obesity, harmful use of alcohol, family history of breast cancer, history of exposure to radiation, reproductive health history (such as age at the start of menstruation and first pregnancy), tobacco use and treatment Postmenopausal hormonal.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer:

  • Breastfeeding.

  • Regular physical activity.

  • Weight control.

  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol.

  • Avoid prolonged use of hormones.

  • Avoid excessive exposure to radiation.

Unfortunately, even if all modifiable risk factors could be controlled, the World Health Organization says, it would reduce the risk of breast cancer by only a maximum of 30%.

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