Synergistic Effect of Squalene and Hydroxytyrosol on Highly Invasive MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells

Mar 12, 2023 | Olive oil, Polyphenols and Health

Several studies relate Mediterranean diet and virgin olive oil (VOO) intake with lower risk of several chronic diseases, including breast cancer. Many of them described antitumor properties of isolated minor compounds present in VOO, but beneficial properties of VOO arise from the effects of all its compounds acting together. The aim of the present study was to test the antitumor effects of two minor compounds from VOO (hydroxytyrosol (HT) and squalene (SQ)) on highly metastatic human breast tumor cells (MDA-MB-231) when acting in combination. Both isolated compounds were previously analyzed without showing any antitumoral effect on highly invasive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, but the present results show that HT at 100 µM, combined with different concentrations of SQ, could exert antitumor effects. When they are combined, HT and SQ are able to inhibit cell proliferation, promoting apoptosis and DNA damage in metastatic breast cancer cells. Therefore, our results suggest that the health-promoting properties of VOO may be due, at least in part, to the combined action of these two minor compounds.