A study by the research group “Tumor Immunology” directed by Professor of Immunology at the University of Jaén (UJA) Jose Juan Gaforio has determined that Oleanolic Acid (OA), present in the skin of olives, could inhibit the proliferation of highly invasive cells of breast cancer, while protecting normal epithelial breast cells.
Oleanolic Acid and Maslinic acid (MA) are constituents of the skins of different fruits, including olives and white or red grapes. Although it was known that both compounds have beneficial properties against different types of cancer, so far there were no studies on its chemopreventive effects in human breast cancer, as reported by the UJA in a statement.
In the study, published in the journal Molecules, UJA researchers used cells from human breast cancer and non-cancer to determine the effects of AO and MA in human mammary epithelial cells. The results showed that the AO inhibited proliferation and increased oxidative stress of highly invasive cells.
In addition, the OA decreased oxidative stress and oxidative DNA damage in human mammary epithelial cells. These results, according to the teaching center of Jaén suggest that the OA could act as a chemopreventive agent in human breast cancer and can inhibit proliferation of highly invasive breast cancer cells.
Although the Oleanolic Acid is found mostly in olive skin, Jose Juan Gaforio explained that it can also be found in the pulp of olives and also appears in virgin olive oil.
The researcher of the UJA has highlighted the dual effect of this type of components, “that exert a different effect on normal cells than in tumor cells, which may help explain why eating certain foods can help prevent certain types of tumors.”
The research group “Tumor Immunology” of the University of Jaen has worked for years in the study of those minor components of virgin olive oil, such as Squalene, Hydroxytyrosol, Maslinic Acid, Uvaol, and Erythrodiol Tyrosol which can contribute to the prevention of breast cancer, “which show similar effects, many of them antioxidants, demonstrating this duality in the effect of normal cells or tumor cells” assured the researcher of this group.
This study is available here.
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