Can Olive Oil Kill Cancer Cells in 30 minutes?

by Nuvo Olive OIl

Can Olive Oil Kill Cancer Cells in 30 minutes?

A running joke among our friends is that we suggest ‘olive oil’ as the solution to any problem.  Need help losing weight?  Olive Oil.  All natural make up remover?  Olive Oil.  Sore Tooth?  Take a swish of Olive Oil.  And on and on to the point where they ask – if olive oil is so great how come it hasn’t cured cancer yet?  To which we can now reply:

An ingredient found in extra virgin olive oil - oleocanthal

A recent study published out of Rutgers University found that an ingredient in extra virgin olive oil was able to kill a variety of human cancer cells without causing any damage to healthy cells.

The ingredient found in fresh extra virgin olive oil is called oleocanthal.  What this compound does is it attacks and ruptures the cancerous cell, releasing enzymes that cause the death of the cancer cell. 

What was astounding was the quickness with which this occurred.  Typically, apoptosis, a type of cell suicide, occurs between 16 and 24 hours.  Incredibly, oleocanthal was killing off the cancer cells within 30 minutes to an hour. 


We love olives!


olives in heart shape


Oleocanthal works on lysosomes within the cancer cells. 

  • Lysosomes are small organelles which are the cell's first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. 
  • They are also the place where cells store waste. 
  • Cancer cells have fragile lysosomal membranes compared to healthy cells. The OC breaks open the membrane around the lysosomes in cancer cells but leaves noncancerous cells intact. 

Previous studies showed that oleocanthal from fresh EVOO acts as a potent antioxidant as well as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent.

It also protects the brain by altering the neurotoxins beta-amyloid and Tau that are associated with Alzheimer's disease. 

What also is really amazing about the study is that you can literally ‘feel’ oleocanthal at work when you sip fresh olive oil. 

Here is how you can tell:

Have you ever tasted an extra virgin olive oil that gave you a slight burning sensation in the back of your throat and it sometimes elicits a cough?  That is oleocanthal at work!  The word ‘oleocanthal’ literally means ‘Oil Cough’ (which by the way is a much easier word to manage).

It is important to note two things:

  • All of the above is only true for FRESH olive oil. As always, look for a harvest date! 
  • Secondly, just because your olive oil does not give you a burning sensation in the back of your throat does not necessarily mean it has lost its vitality. A fresh, filtered oil can lose ‘the burn’ in a year but still be packed with all its potency.

As you can imagine, now that we’ve told our friends about this study they now tease us that we should win the Noble Peace Prize for finding the cure for cancer…these friends ay yay yay!!

The findings were published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Oncology.  


Always Stay Healthy, Friends!

Nuvo Family



Nuvo Olive OIl
Nuvo Olive OIl


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