Oleocanthal is a bioactive compound found in extra-virgin olive oil. This compound, which gives a peppery flavor and burning sensation to the oil, has been gaining attention for its potential to improve health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Studies have shown that oleocanthal has powerful antioxidant properties and can protect cells from free radical damage. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antifungal activity, making it an ideal natural remedy for reducing inflammation in the body.
In addition to these benefits, oleocanthal may also mitigate many hallmarks of degenerative diseases, including cancer. Research suggests that oleocanthal has the ability to induce apoptosis, or cell death, in cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. It appears to do this by inhibiting several signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and survival, thereby preventing tumor growth and metastasis. Oleocanthal also appears to reduce angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels that allows tumors to receive nutrients and oxygen for growth.
Studies on animal models have further demonstrated that oleocanthal can prevent DNA mutations associated with cancer development and inhibit the growth of existing tumors. In one study on mice injected with breast cancer cells, mice treated with oleocanthal exhibited significantly reduced tumor growth compared to those not treated with the compound. Similarly, another study found that treatment with oleocanthal led to improved survival rates among mice injected with skin cancer cells as well as suppressed markers associated with inflammation. These results indicate that oleocanthal not only prevents tumor growth but can also reduce inflammation related to cancer development.
In addition to its anti-cancer effects, research suggests that oleocanthal may be useful for treating other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This condition is characterized by an accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain which are known to cause neurological dysfunction leading to memory loss and cognitive decline. Oleocanthal appears to block amyloid plaque formation by inhibiting certain enzymes involved in their production while also promoting their degradation over time so they don’t build up in the brain.