A study conducted by Dr. Niva Shapira from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Bob Kuklinski of Rockstock University in Germany found that olive oil, along with other components of a Mediterranean diet, may contribute to the prevention of malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, may be slowed down by consumption of olive oil, which is rich in antioxidants.
The research showed that the body develops a resistance to the damaging rays of the sun due to carotenoids. Carotenoids are the color pigments found in fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins and carrots. Olive oil has also been found to protect the skin against the damaging effects of UV rays.
Olive oil, which is the only vegetable oil that can be taken as it is, contains high levels of antioxidatives and has monounsaturated fatty acids. Studies have also shown that olive oil prevents heart disease. It was found that olive oil controls the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Due to its vitamin E contents, olive oil also provides cellular protection against free radicals. Olive oil aids in neutralizing free radicals, which leads to a lower risk for colon cancer. Regular consumption of olive oil may also lower the risk of diabetes.
According to Dr. Shapira, the use of sunscreen remains the best way to prevent sunburn and shield the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. However, In an interview with the Pakistan News Service, Dr. Shapira adds that “Going Greek,” or consuming olive oil and other Mediterranean food staples, could help counter the oxidizing effect of the sun. Her statement is strengthened by statistics that show that only three in every 100,000 residents of countries in the Mediterranean develop any form of skin cancer. The figure is low, especially when considering the warm climate in the region. In Australia, the figure is 50 in every 100,000 residents.