A study by the University of Jaen first analyzes the beneficial effects of maslinic acid, a compound of virgin olive oil in the immune system cells called macrophages. These cells are involved in the inflammatory response which occurs in some cancers.
Tumor Immunobiology research group at the University of Jaen have evaluated the effects of an extracted virgin olive oil compound maslinic acid in inflammatory processes associated with certain cancers.
This is the first study that analyzes the positive impact of these substances on a type of immune system cells, called macrophages, helping them reduce inflammation, a stage related to tumor development.
Previous studies show that chronic low-grade inflammation is at the basis of many diseases such as cancer. Therefore, experts from the University of Jaen aimed at inhibiting the inflammatory process understanding the functioning of cells that coordinate this process: macrophages.
“These cells synthesize cytokines, substances involved in the coordination of the immune response. If we establish a simile and the immune system was an army, every soldier can not fight in isolation. They are the link between the group that tells them where to attack foreign agents, “said Jose Juan Gaforio, project leader and researcher at the University of Jaen.
The Jaen scientists are experts in the analysis of components present in small amounts in virgin olive oils but have healthful properties. Therefore they wanted to test the effect of certain compounds of this vegetable fat extracted on inflammatory processes. In particular, they have evaluated the incidence of maslinic acid on macrophages.
These immune cells are divided into two types. For one, the M1 macrophages are able to kill pathogens and inhibiting tumors, ie, are responsible for the pathology to cure as soon as possible. And secondly, the M2 macrophages promote chronic inflammatory processes and the creation of new capillaries that could feed the tumor cells.
“This capability is important, for example, to close a wound. However, in cancer cells cause adverse effects such as the generation of new tumor tissue. Thus, in chronic inflammatory processes, the interesting thing is to boost the M1 and inhibit the action of the M2. That’s just what the maslinic acid “lists Gaforio.
Thus, in a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the researchers conclude that maslinic acid has a beneficial effect on inflammation associated with cancer: an effect called M1 macrophages to come to the area affected and control the inflammatory process by creating cytokines, ie, molecules coordinators “army” which involves the immune system.
“Our results show that chronic inflammation can control represents a crucial stage in the development of certain cancers,” stresses the researcher.