London: A compound found in olive oil may help fight brain cancer by preventing tumour formation, a new study has found.
Oleic acid — the primary ingredient in olive oil — can help prevent cancer-causing genes from functioning in cells, researchers said.
The oily substance — one of a group of nutrients known as fatty acids — stimulates the production of a cell molecule whose function is to prevent cancer-causing proteins from forming, they said.
"While we cannot yet say that olive oil in the diet helps prevent brain cancer, our findings do suggest that oleic acid can support the production of tumour-suppressing molecules in cells grown in the lab," said Gracjan Michlewski from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
Researchers analysed the effect of oleic acid on a cell molecule, known as miR-7, which is active in the brain and is known to suppress the formation of tumours.
They found that oleic acid prevents a cell protein, known as MSI2, from stopping production of miR-7. In this way, the olive oil component supports the production of miR-7, which helps prevent tumours from forming.
The study was published in the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Updated Date: Jun 04, 2017 14:38 PM