An interesting and potentially important cancer study was just published, but will the results hold up in humans? Researchers found that a diet rich in palm oil, which contains palmitic acid, promoted the spread (metastasizing) of two cancers - oral carcinomas and melanoma skin cancer. In mice.
Palm oil is very commonly used in foods. However, the international team of researchers did not find this occurring with fatty acids that are found in olive oil or flaxseeds. (They contain oleic acid or linoleic acid, which are omega-9 and omega-6 fats.)
What does this mean? In this study, dietary palm oil promoted the spread of existing cancers in mice. If you want to be extra cautious, especially if you already have cancer, avoid palm oil and perhaps instead use olive oil. Professor Benitah, one of the researchers said:
"I think it is too early to determine which type of diet could be consumed by patients with metastatic cancer that would slow down the metastatic process. That said, based on our results one would think that a diet poor in palmitic acid could be effective in slowing down the metastatic process, but much more work is needed to determine this."
Of course further studies are needed in humans. But... it is important to note that extra virgin olive oil is viewed as anti-inflammatory and linked to a lower incidence of some cancers, including breast cancer.
From Medical Xpress: Researchers discover link between dietary fat and the spread of cancer
The study, published in the journal Nature and part-funded by the UK charity Worldwide Cancer Research, uncovers how palmitic acid alters the cancer genome, increasing the likelihood the cancer will spread. The researchers have started developing therapies that interrupt this process and say a clinical trial could start in the next couple of years. ...continue reading "Possible Link Between Palm Oil and Cancer Spread"