When we season salad with extra virgin olive oil, perhaps we do it without thinking about it, but we should stop for a moment and become aware that, with this gesture, we are acting for our health, powerfully counteracting the aging processes and cellular degeneration. In particular, extra virgin olive oil has been found to be protective for the bladder, as emerged from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Nutrients by an Italian team from the CNR (Spagnuolo et al, Nutrients, 2023).
Extra virgin olive oil, much more than a condiment
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained by cold pressing the olives and is a concentrate of antioxidant substances. Suffice it to say that there are more than 30 phenolic compounds in extra virgin olive oil, including flavonoids, phenolic acids and lignans. These substances give extra virgin olive oil powerful health-promoting properties, capable of counteracting aging processes, free radical damage and cellular degeneration. It is no coincidence that extra virgin olive oil is one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean Diet and, as previous studies have shown, high adherence to the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of developing tumors. In the study we are talking about today, the scientists focused their attention on the action of extra virgin olive oil in the particular case of bladder cancer, which is one of the most common tumors as age progresses. Let's see what emerged.
Extra virgin olive oil against bladder cancer, the study
The study took place in the laboratory. The researchers used two different cell lines, the first representing bladder cells with early stage degeneration and the second bladder cells with advanced stage degeneration. These cells were then put in contact with the antioxidants extracted from the extra virgin olive oil. Well, what emerged is that the oil reduced, in both cases, free radicals and inhibited cellular degeneration. But what is noteworthy is the fact that this last antitumor action was carried out in a different way based on the different stage in which the cellular degeneration was. In particular, in the case of degeneration at the initial stage, extra virgin olive oil has promoted autophagy, namely a process through which the cell manages to get rid of damaged proteins and toxic compounds, which could further damage it. In this way the extra virgin olive oil was able to block the tumor growth in the initial stage. Instead, when the degeneration is in an advanced stage, autophagy does not work, on the contrary, it could lead to resistance to treatments and even tumor proliferation. And this is where the incredible happens. Scientists have been able to observe that the extracts of extra virgin olive oil in contact with cells with advanced degeneration were able to block their growth, no longer favoring autophagy, which would have kept them alive and stronger, but by promoting apoptosis, which is instead the death of damaged cells.
Extra virgin olive oil is more than just a condiment, it is a real food but also one of the most powerful allies we have on our side in the fight against aging and cellular degeneration. From today we know that the antioxidant compounds of extra virgin olive oil act intelligently on the degeneration that can affect the bladder, thus once again protecting our health. And then, green light to extra virgin olive oil, to be added raw to salads, vegetables and side dishes but also, why not, to be enjoyed on a slice of brown bread, perhaps enriched with a rub of garlic. However, it is important to underline once again that extra virgin olive oil, even if beneficial, is not to be considered a miraculous remedy or cure. Instead, it should be seen as part of an anti-cancer lifestyle, capable of strengthening our body and our defenses and helping to prevent, always without ever exaggerating with the quantities, even cellular degeneration.