The cause of breast cancer in humans is not known. It is blamed in hormonal effects, genes and environmental contributors.
The mortality of breast cancer is higher in the western countries, than the Asian countries. When Asians immigrate to the United States, somehow they get the cancer incident of their adopted country, which almost confirms environmental and dietary factors are the cause of breast cancer.
Countries using an unbalanced diet high in calories and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, are more susceptible to breast cancer. In the Mediterranean diet where extra virgin olive oil is used as the major dietary fat, the breast cancer mortality rate is low.
The dietary fat is an undeniable factor for the increase of breast, pancreatic, prostate and colon cancers. The consumption of poly-unsaturated fats, stimulates the development of breast cancer.
Studies in Greece, Italy and Spain indicate that olive oil consumption lowers the risk of breast, pancreatic, prostate and colon cancers.
The phenolic compounds in olive oil, take the credit for the olive oil’s beneficial effects against cancer.
Chemically induced tumors in rats are similar to the chemically induced tumors in humans. Experiments done in rats with chemically induced mammary tumors and dietary manipulation, to study the pathogenesis of breast cancer, are similar to the ones observed in human disease.
Studies proved that the tumors on rats fed an olive oil diet, have a longer period of obscurity, than rats fed with sunflower oil, enriched with oleic acid or plain sunflower oil, which has the highest number of tumors. They also have a lower mortality level.
Dietary manipulation in animals and humans starts early. Epidemiological remarks indicate that eating habits in women’s lives are a very important factor in the development of breast cancer.
High fat diets promote tumors. Fat is the highest energy providing nutrient.
Studies also shown that the most body weight gained, was in animals with breast cancer, fed a sunflower oil diet. The animals with breast cancer, fed an oleic acid enriched sunflower oil diet, gained the least weight, during the periods of experiments.
Owen in 2003 in a study showed that the antioxidant phenolic compounds in olive oil are powerful obstacles of free radical production. So the protective effects against breast cancer might be the phenolic compounds in combination with its fatty acid composition and the lesser compounds.
The oleic acid enriched sunflower oil contains a very high amount of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant in action.
Olive oil compared to other dietary fats is the best fatty acid with protective effects against breast cancer.