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Though you may think “heart health” when you hear “olive oil,” new research from the University of Edinburgh suggests that the benefits of this kitchen staple may extend to your brain, too.
A link has been found between oleic acid, a primary component of olive oil, and the production of miR-7, a protein that prevents the development of brain cancer, says lead study author Gracjan Michlewski, PhD. Still, he and his team are cautiously optimistic.
“We are far away from claiming that consuming olive oil will result in an increased production of miR-7 molecule or any anticancer benefits,” says Michlewski, adding that further research is being conducted to find similar links between miR-7 and other cancers. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to pepper more of this monounsaturated wonder into your diet, especially with its proven ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. Reach for virgin over refined for nearly seven times the oleic acid.