The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model inspired by the eating patterns widespread in some countries of the Mediterranean basin, inspired by the eating habits of Italy, Spain and Greece in the 1960s. The diet was recognized by UNESCO as a protected asset and included in the list of oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2010.
The diet is based on foods whose consumption is usual in countries of the Mediterranean basin, in a proportion that favors cereals, fruit, vegetables, seeds, olive oil, compared to a more rare use of red meat and animal fats (saturated fats ), while it has a moderate consumption of fish, white meat (poultry), legumes, eggs, dairy products, red wine, sweets.
The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in observational studies. The Mediterranean diet can help with weight loss in obese people. But it also brings benefits in the fight against cancer.
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet in the fight against cancer
The study: Beneficial effects of olive oil and Mediterranean diet on cancer physio-pathology and incidence, published on the Seminars in cancer biology, said us: "Virgin olive oil is a characteristic component and the main source of fat of the Mediterranean diet.
It is a mix of high-value health compounds, including monounsaturated fatty acids (mainly oleic acid), simple phenols (such as hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol), secoiridoids (such as oleuropein, oleocanthal), flavonoids, and terpenoids (such as squalene).
Oil consumption has been shown to improve different aspects of human health and has been associated with a lower risk of cancer. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms involved in such effects are still poorly defined, but seem to be related to a promotion of apoptosis, modulation of epigenetic patterns, blockade of cell cycle, and angiogenesis regulation.
The aim of this review is to update the current associations of cancer risk with the Mediterranean diet, olive oil consumption and its main components. In addition, the identification of key olive oil components involved in anticarcinogenic mechanisms and pathways according to experimental models is also addressed. "