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Olive Oil Compound 'Kills Cancer Cells in 30 minutes'


olive oil anti-cancerIt's the kind of discovery that should be making international headlines: a team of researchers has discovered that a simple compound in Extra Virgin Olive Olil (EVOO) is capable of killing cancer cells 'within 30 minutes to an hour' !

A Rutgers University nutritional scientist and two cancer biologists at New York City's Hunter College have found that an ingredient in Extra-virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) kills a variety of human cancer cells without harming healthy cells !!! The ingredient is oleocanthal, a compound that ruptures a part of the cancerous cell, releasing enzymes that cause cell death.

Paul Breslin, Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and David Foster and Onica LeGendre of Hunter College, report that oleocanthal kills cancerous cells in the laboratory by rupturing vesicles that store the cell's waste. LeGendre, the first author, Foster, the senior author, and Breslin have published their findings in "Molecular and Cellular Oncology".
Even the researchers and scientists behind the study are impressed and blown away by the results, which has serious implications when it comes to how the public may soon (?) view simple nutrition as a weapon against cancer.

Scientists knew that oleocanthal killed some cancer cells, but no one really understood how this occurred. Breslin believed that oleocanthal might be targeting a key protein in cancer cells that triggers a programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, and worked with Foster and Legendre to test his hypothesis after meeting David Foster at a seminar he gave at Rutgers. "We needed to determine if oleocanthal was targeting that protein and causing the cells to die," Breslin said.

After applying oleocanthal to the cancer cells, Foster and LeGendre discovered that the cancer cells were dying very quickly – within 30 minutes to an hour. Since programmed cell death takes between 16 and 24 hours, the scientists realized that something else had to be causing the cancer cells to break down and die.

LeGendre, a chemist, provided the answer: The cancer cells were being killed by their own enzymes. The oleocanthal was puncturing the vesicles inside the cancer cells that store the cell's waste – the cell's "dumpster," as Breslin called it, or "recycling center," as Foster refers to it. These vesicles, known as lysosomes are larger in cancer cells than in healthy cells, and they contain a lot of waste. "Once you open one of those things, all hell breaks loose," Breslin said.

You can view the synopsis as published in the website naturalsociety, the page of Rutgers University and of Taylor & Francis, the research publishers.
You can also find the official scientific Abstract in the "Molecular and Cellular Oncology", while in the same website provides the full article (in pdf format).

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