A Mediterranean diet mortalizes cancer, keeps your brain young

Credit: AARP

Two scientific studies, independent of one another, have discovered that a Mediterranean diet has some serious health benefits. The first team of researchers, based out of Ohio State University, discovered a compound that re-educates cancer cells — teaching them to die on time, like regular cells. The other group of researchers, located at the University of Navarra in Spain have found that the addition of olive oil and nuts to an already healthy diet has the ability to improve brainpower in elderly patients.

In the Spanish research, a 522-patient study concluded that patients who consume a Mediterranean diet heavy in olive oil and nuts are able to retain a quicker mind than others. The study, which lasted six and a half years, took groups of seniors and told them to add either mixed nuts or olive oil to their diet. A third group was told to consume a low-fat diet. When the study ended, the groups that consumed the olive oil and the mixed nuts showed a markedly lower rate of cognitive decline or dementia. The results were visible across the board, regardless of discrepancies in age or family history.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State University team identified the plant-based compound apigenin as a cancer preventer. The compound was discovered to bind with an estimated 160 proteins in the human body. Once there, the apigenin "re-educates" forming cancer cells and stops them from inhibiting their own death. Breast cancer, in particular, seemed to be very responsive to such preventative treatment. If you're looking to stock up on apigenin, it is found most commonly in chamomile tea, parsley and celery — but can also be obtained from many other fruits and veggies common to a Mediterranean diet.

None of this should come as a shock to anyone studying healthy eating, but Andrea Doseff, an associate professor and co-author of the Ohio State study, put into words precisely why these scientific discoveries are important:

"We know we need to eat healthfully, but in most cases we don't know the actual mechanistic reasons for why we need to do that."

Scientific evidence lets us know that these foods aren't just hype or a passing trend. Their benefits are rooted in actual, measurable chemical reactions within our bodies. Reactions that utilize good, old-fashioned home remedies to create a healthier, cancer fighting humanity of tomorrow.

Ohio State and BMJ Group, via ScienceDaily

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