A Mediterranean meal and dietary supplements of olive oil may cut your risk of cancer. Mediterranean populations have much lower death rates from heart disease and certain cancers than people in the U.S. and the consumption of olive oil may be a contributing factor. People who eat a Mediterranean diet actually eat as much fat as people from other countries, but they get their fat calories primarily from olive oil which is largely composed of monounsaturated fat which can lower blood cholesterol. Components of olive oil, such as oleic acid, vitamin E, flavonoids, squalene and polyphenols, may help protect against colon, breast and prostate cancer because flavonoids and polyphenols are antioxidants which help prevent cell damage from oxygen containing chemicals called free radicals. Consumption of monounsaturated fats also may be beneficial in preventing breast cancer. Several studies have shown that olive oil consumption could reduce the risk of cancer by up to 45 percent, which implies that women who consume olive oil have lower rates of breast cancer than women who do not consume olive oil. Olive oil may contribute to a healthy prostate in men. Fish cooked in olive oil may be the answer for men concerned about prostate cancer. A study published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that eating moderate amounts of oily fish might cut the risk of prostate cancer in half. Swedish men who ate fish fried in olive oil rarely on not at all were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as those men who ate fish fried in olive oil frequently or moderately. A University of Oxford research study shows that olive oil is as effective as fresh fruit and vegetables as a cancer preventive measure. A team of researchers at the Institute of Health Sciences, led by Dr. Michael Goldacre, compared cancer rates, diets and olive oil consumption in 28 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Canada and China. Countries with a diet high in meat and low in vegetables had the highest rates of cancer and the consumption of olive oil was associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer. The researchers suspect that olive oil protects against colon cancer by influencing the metabolism of the gut. 

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