The Italian associations Italia Olivicola and Agricoltori Italiani (CIA) teamed up with the AIRC Foundation for Cancer Research in Italy to develop a project called An Extra for Research to support the work of AIRC while promoting the use of extra virgin olive oil.
Since 1965, AIRC has funded scientific projects, disseminated scientific information, and promoted the culture of prevention, relying on 4.5 million supporters, 20,000 volunteers and 17 regional committees to guarantee approximately 5,000 researchers the resources necessary to bring results from the lab to the patient as quickly as possible.
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For each extra virgin olive oil sold in forty cooperatives and mills in many Italian regions over the weekend of December 7 – 8, a part of the sales went to fund the AIRC’s studies. An Extra for Research featured a series of events in collaboration with farmers and millers to inform the public about the importance of adopting healthy eating habits to reduce the risk of cancer.
“We took this opportunity to enhance the work of Italian growers and their products, precious allies of our health, through a fruitful synergy with the AIRC Foundation,” the president of Italia Olivicola, Gennaro Sicolo said.
The national president of CIA, Dino Scanavino said farmers “have an important responsibility toward consumers. We are committed to guaranteeing optimal health for everyone and we are glad to join this project.”
The partnership was encouraged by the results of a recent study, supported by the AIRC Foundation, which shows that daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps prevent intestinal tumors.
“The oleic acid contained in extra virgin olive oil is a substance capable of regulating cell proliferation,” Antonio Moschetta, who led the research group at the University of Bari, explained. “In preclinical studies, we simulated altered genes and states of intestinal inflammation and demonstrated that a diet enriched with oleic acid can guarantee considerable health benefits.”
“This collaboration allows us to highlight the importance of daily consumption of extra virgin olive oil,” the director-general of the AIRC Foundation, Niccolò Contucci concluded. “Every day, the battle against cancer acquires new tools thanks to the progress in research, but the importance of individual behaviors and eating habits is widely recognized.”