Abstract

Olive oil contains a vast range of substances such as monounsaturated free fatty acids (e.g., oleic acid), hydrocarbon squalene, tocopherols, aroma components, and phenolic compounds. Higher consumption of olive oil is considered the hallmark of the traditional Mediterranean diet, which has been associated with low incidence and prevalence of cancer, including colorectal cancer. The anticancer properties of olive oil have been attributed to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, squalene, tocopherols, and phenolic compounds. Nevertheless, there is a growing interest in studying the role of olive oil phenolics in carcinogenesis. This review aims to provide an overview of the relationship between olive oil phenolics and colorectal cancer, in particular summarizing the epidemiologic, in vitro, cellular, and animal studies on antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects of olive oil phenolics.

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