Researchers at the University of Granada have discovered a compound in olives that can help in preventing cancer.
Maslinic acid is a compound present in the leaf and the olive skin wax extracted from alpeorujo (crushed olive pulp) that can regulate cancer cell growth and prevents their appearance.
The acid controls the hyperplasia, proliferation of cells within an organ or tissue and hypertrophy, the increase of the size of an organ or in a select area of the tissue, typical of this disease.
According to lead researchers Professor Jose Antonio Lupianez Cara, of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I and Ph D student Fernando Jesus Reyes Zurita, unlike other anti-carcinogenic products, maslinic acid is a natural compound, thus is less toxic. In addition it only acts on carcinogenic cells, whose pH is more acid than usual and can inhibit cancer appearance in those cells with a higher predisposition to develop it.
Though the researchers only analysed the effect of maslinic acid in the treatment of colon cancer but they have said that it can be used in different types of tumours.