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California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Olive Oil Lowers Breast Cancer

-THE WEEK October 2, 2015

Following a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive oil has been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.

New research suggests a version of this diet supplemented with even more extra-virgin olive oil could also dramatically reduce women’s risk of breast cancer.  Researchers asked more than 4,000 women between ages 60 and 80 to following one of three diets:  a Mediterranean diet infused with a generous dose of extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, or a low-fat diet.

After five years, the women who followed the olive oil-heavy Mediterranean diet – which is also low in meat, dairy, and sugar – had a 68% reduced risk for breast cancer, reports The New York Times.

Extra-virgin olive oil, which contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, had to make up 15% or more of the women’s total calories to achieve this protection, the researchers point out.  “For every additional 5% of calories from extra-virgin olive oil, the risk wad reduced {by} 28%,” says study author Dr. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez.  It’s unclear whether extra-virgin olive oil alone provides this health benefit or if various nutrients in the Mediterranean diet have a synergistic effect.