Extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent bowel cancer, study

110,000 Italians diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year

(ANSA) - Rome, October 23 - The consumption of adequate amounts of extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent bowel cancer, new research has shown.
    The study, conducted by researchers at Rome's Biomedical University and the University of Teramo in conjunction with the University of Camerino and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, shows how extra-virgin oilve oil increases the expression of the tumor-suppressor gene CNR1. This in turn expresses a receptor that regulates the mechanisms underpinning the alteration of genes sensitive to environmental factors such as diet. The study "reinforces the fact that an appropriate diet can help prevent cancer but also other common pathologies such as neurological disorders, obesity and diabetes," said Mauro Maccarrone, a lecturer in biochemistry at Rome's Biomedical University. The results also show that "changes (…) deriving from environmental factors, and therefore from diet, are potentially reversible" he added.
    Bowel cancer is the second form of cancer after breast cancer to affect women and the third form of cancer after lung and prostate cancer to affect men.
    In Italy around 40,000 women and 70,000 men are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year.


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