Monthly Archives: December 2011

Award for Research on Role of Olive Oil in Breast Cancer Prevention

Researchers at the University of Jaén have become the first to win Castillo de Canena’s Luis Vaño Olive Oil Research Prize awarded to the best olive or olive oil-related research study in Spain.

The study, titled “’The Influence of Minor Components Present in Virgin Olive Oils In The Prevention of Breast Cancer: In Vitro Study of Hydroxytyrosol and Tyrosol,” was conducted by José Juan Gaforio, Fernando Warleta and Cristina Sánchez of the University’s Department of Immunology.

José J. Gaforio, Immunology Division, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jaén
“We have studied the effects of four compounds present in the olive skin; erythrodiol, ovaol, maslinic acid and oleanolic acidon with human breast cancer cells and the results show that the compounds have the potential to provide a natural defense against breast cancer,” researchers noted.

In a unanimous decision, the awards committee chose the project from among eight other research projects. The winners will receive €6,000 ($7,984) in prize money. The University of Jaén will publish their work in a monograph.

“The results of this research has an important social and economic impact on Spanish society. Highlighting the healthy properties of olive oil is an element of the first order to encourage their use in other countries,” Gaforio told Science Watch.

Family-run olive oil company Castillo de Canena sponsored the award to encourage and stimulate scientific research and technological knowledge of olives and olive oils. The award was named in honor of Luis Vañó, president of Castillo de Canena and of the Spanish Arab Bank.

The award ceremony will be held on December 2 at the Castillo de Canena estate in Jaén.

20 Minutos
Science Watch
University of Jaén (PDF)

An Olive Oil Rich Diet is Better for the Heart

By Elena Paravantes, RD

New research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine provides further evidence that a Mediterranean style diet rich in monounsaturated fat from olive oil, avocadoes and nuts improves heart health even if the diet is not coupled with weight loss.

In their report prepared for the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions, the researchers said that swapping out certain foods could improve heart health in those at risk for cardiovascular disease, even if the dietary changes aren’t accompanied by a loss in weight.

The team of John Hopkins researchers analyzed data from the OmniHeart Trial, which compared cardiovascular effects of three different diets; a carbohydrate rich diet, a protein rich diet and an unsaturated fats rich diet.

Each participant followed each of the three diets for 6 weeks while the researchers gathered information on the ability of the body to regulate blood sugar and maintain healthy insulin levels while on those diets. According to the researchers if the body fails to effectively use insulin this can lead to development of type 2 diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.

The results of their analysis found that a diet higher in unsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil, nut and avocadoes, improved the use of insulin compared to the other two diets.

The unsaturated fat diet basically replaced some of the carbohydrates with good fats, resulting in a diet makeup of 37 percent fat. The investigators say that the preferred diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, inspired by the foods of southern Italy and Greece, emphasizing healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.

It appears that adding olive oil to your diet, while removing some of the processed carbohydrates will result in better heart health. “The introduction of the right kind of fat into a healthy diet is another tool to reduce the risk of future heart disease,” says Meghana Gadgil, M.D., M.P.H., one of the researchers who presented the study.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Olive oils can prevent infantile diseases

Olive oils can prevent infantile diseases
According to many physicians and scientists, such as the pediatrician and neonatologist Giuseppe Caramia, extra virgin olive oils are important ingredients of preventive medicine

by S. C.

According to Professor Giuseppe Caramia, Consultant of Pediatrics and Neonatology, “extra virgin olive oils contain polyunsaturated fat acids in percentages very similar to breast milk”. “Moreover, thanks to its minor constituents, such as squalene, phenols, polyphenols, chlorophyll and vitamins (A, D, E, K), it is very important for the baby wellbeing. This is the reason why this important element of the Mediterranean diet is considered as a nutraceutic food: it is the best present we can do to ourselves for our health. It makes our life tastier and more pleasant, too”.

However, not all the oils are the same. In order to get the most of the health properties of extra virgin olive oil it is important to buy a certified bottle. “The Consortium for the quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oils (CEQ) is committed every day in a battle for the control of the oil quality”, says Elia Fiorillo, Head of the CEQ. “Our members follow very strict rules during the production processes. Our battle is first of all a cultural one: it is important that people understand the nutritive properties of oil; at the same time it is pivotal that producers respect very strict rules on quality”.

Professor Caramia also recalls that the American FDA recognizes the healthy properties of extra virgin olive oil, whenever taken in small quantities: two teaspoons a day circa (23 g). According to experts, olive oil can help a lot against cardiovascular diseases.

The CEQ Consortium works from many years for the realization of superior-quality products. The members of the consortium, which come from every category of the production process, follow the very strict rules imposed by the CEQ. As a matter of fact, in order to get a very high quality extra virgin olive oil, it is important that all the steps of the production process, from gathering to packaging and distribution, are committed to high standards. Only properly treated and preserved oils can in fact preserve all their nutritive and healthy properties and avoid the physiological oxidative processes.