Olive Oil Prevents Experimentally Induced Breast and Colon Carcinogenesis

Betty Schwartz*, Zecharia Madar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Different studies have shown that the consumption of olive oil may have a potential role in lowering the risk of malignant neoplasms, especially breast and stomach cancer and also ovary, colon and endometrium cancer. Different mechanisms for the modulatory actions of olive oil and other dietary lipids on cancer have been proposed. Among them, there is experimental evidence about an influence on the hormonal status, cell membrane structure and function, signal transduction pathways, gene expression, and the immune system. Nevertheless, the definite mechanisms by which the effects of olive oil are mediated are not well understood and require further elucidation. Colomer and Menendez suggested that the molecular explanation concerning the anticancer actions of olive oil might relate to the ability of oleic acid (OA) to specifically regulate cancer-related oncogenes. Exogenous supplementation of cultured breast cancer cells with physiological concentrations of oleic acid was found to suppress the overexpression of Her-2, a well-characterized oncogene playing a key role in the etiology, progression and response to chemotherapy and endocrine therapy in approximately 20% of breast carcinomas. Exogenous supplementation with oleic acid dramatically down-regulates Her-2/. neu-coded p185Her-2/. neu oncoprotein in human breast cancer cell lines, bearing amplification of the Her-2/. neu oncogene. Importantly, oleic-acid-induced suppression of Her-2/. neu overexpression was not significantly prevented by the effective scavenger of reactive oxygen species vitamin E, thus ruling out that lipid peroxidation may be involved in this effect. © 2010

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationOlives and Olive Oil in Health and Disease Prevention
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780123744203
StatePublished - 2010


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