Canola Oil Protects Against Colon Cancer

Cancer fighting canola oil reduces tumors in animals

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Olive oil seems to be promoted as one of the healthiest oils. Flaxseed oil too. But ordinary canola oil is now being promoted as a cancer-fighting hero that's a healthy choice for everyday cooking.

A new, first-of-its-kind animal study shows that canola oil protects against the development of colon cancer.

Distinguished professor Chandradhar Dwivedi, head of South Dakota State University's (SDSU) Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, led the study.

He said, “This is the first time anyone has done work on the effect of canola oil in animals on colon cancer prevention. Canola oil was able to reduce the incidence of colon cancer in animals almost to one-third.”

"Animal study shows that canola oil protects against colon cancer."

The study showed that canola oil suppressed the average number of tumors by 58 percent compared to one of the other two control diets in the experiment. The oil also restricted the size of tumors that occurred by 90 percent.

Dwivedi had already led similar studies looking at the cancer-fighting properties of flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil. While flaxseed oil has a much higher level of Omega-3 fatty acids that are partly responsible for its health benefits, Dwivedi suggests that canola oil may be easier to include in a typical American diet.

“If people start using canola oil, replacing other oils with canola oil, it gives them the advantage of including Omega-3s in their diet,”Dwivedi said.

In Depth

  • The research builds on earlier studies by Dwivedi and his colleagues suggesting that Omega-3 fatty acids have a chemopreventive effect by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase and reducing the synthesis of arachidonic acid, both of which are associated with inflammation.
  • The canola oil study showed that the oil inhibited the average number of tumors per rat by 58 percent compared to one of the other two control diets in the experiment, and inhibited the size of the tumors that occurred by 90 percent.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 150,000 new colorectal cancer cases in the United States in 2011. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among women and men, and is expected to cause nearly 49,400 deaths during 2011.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 15, 2011
Last Updated:
April 27, 2011