The Mediterranean diet is well known for its abundance of plant foods, fish and olive oil. Adding to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, a new study has revealed that eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil may lower risk of breast cancer in women.
The study said, "The results of the trial suggest a beneficial effect of a MeDiet (Mediterranean diet) supplemented with extra virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of breast cancer."
For the study, Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez from University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and coauthors followed 4,282 women, aged 60-80 years. Women at high risk of cardiovascular disease were recruited for the study.
Researchers analyzed the effects of two interventions with the Mediterranean diet - supplemented with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or nuts - compared with advice to women to follow a low-fat diet. Study participants were randomly assigned to the Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO, or the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or the control diet with advice to reduce their dietary intake of fat.
During a median follow-up of nearly five years, the research team identified 35 confirmed incident (new) cases of malignant breast cancer. The findings revealed that women eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with EVOO showed a 68% relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet, women eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts showed a non-significant risk reduction compared with women in the control group.
The study appeared online in JAMA Internal Medicine.