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Type does matter. Use VIRGIN olive oil as your preferred fat to reduce your risk of breast cancer: case-control EpiGEICAM study


The Epi-GEICAM study comprises 1017 invasive BC cases matched with controls of similar age (49 ± 9 years) and residence. Diet and OO consumption were collected through a validated food frequency questionnaire. 75% of women referred OO, common (refined) or virgin, as the main fat source. Using conditional logistic regression models, we compared different scenarios of type and frequency of OO consumption, using as reference those women not always using OO for the three culinary practices (seasoning, cooking, and frying) and adding <2 tablespoons (tbsps.) per day during the meal to bread, salad, or dishes. A substantial inverse association was observed in those women always using VOO for the three culinary practices and consuming ≥2 tbsps. of OO per day during meals (adjusted OR, 0.72; 95% CI: 0.51, 1.03; P = 0.07). Potential benefits from OO consumption, at least as regards the protection provided for BC, could be mostly conferred with VOO, and when its consumption is high.

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We thank to all study participants.


This study was funded by the Fundación Científica Asociación Española Contra el Cancer (AECC) (Scientific Foundation of the Spanish Association against Cancer 2006 & 2016), Sociedad Española de Oncología Médica (SEOM) (Spanish Society of Medical Oncology), Community of Madrid (Scholarship “Contrato de atracción de talento” to Carolina Donat-Vargas), Fundación Cerveza y Salud 2005 (Beer and Health Foundation 2005) and Federación de Asociaciones de Mujeres con Cáncer de Mama (FECMA) (Spanish Federation of Associations of Women with Breast Cancer).

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Authors and Affiliations



CDV: formal analysis, writing - original draft, writing - review & editing. ÁGZ, BB, AC, JMBC, SA, PSR, AA, JÁGS, MR, MM, AJC, CJS, JIC, MGG, RAC, AL, SB: investigation, writing - review & editing. VL, NFLB, BPG: writing - review & editing. MM: conceptualization, investigation, writing - review & editing, supervision, project administration. MP: conceptualization, investigation, writing - review & editing, supervision, project administration, funding acquisition.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marina Pollán.

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Competing interests

ÁGZ has received institutional grant from Pfizer; has participated in advisory board activities with Novartis, Palex, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca; has received travel grand from Roche, Pfizer and Novartis. MR has received honoraria from Novartis, Roche and Pfizer. MM has received honoraria from Roche/Genentech, Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis and Pierre-Fabre; has participated in consulting or advisory board activities with Roche/Genentech, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly, Astra Zeneca and Taiho Pharmaceutical; has received speakers’ bureau from Lilly/ImClone, Roche/Genentech and Pierre Fabre; has contracted research fees from Roche, Novartis, and PUMA. All remaining authors have declared no conflicts of interest. Industry was not involved in the study hypothesis/design, execution, analysis, or interpretation.

Ethical approval and informed consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committees, and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The present study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committees of the following institutions: Fundación Instituto Valenciano de Oncología; Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío de Sevilla; Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar; Hospital Clínico San Carlos de Madrid; Hospital Clinic de Barcelona; Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia; Fundación Hospital Alcorcón; Complejo Hospitalario de Toledo; Hospital Mutua de Terrassa; Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge; Hospital General Universitario de Alicante; Hospital Virgen de los Lirios de Alcoy; Hospital Universitari de Girona Dr. Josep Trueta; Hospital Mutua de Terrassa; Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida; Fundacio d. Osona per a la Recerca i Educacio Sanitaries – FORES, and by the Regional Institutional Review Boards of Burgos and Soria, Aragon-CEICA, Galicia, Cantabria and Jaen. All participants signed an informed consent and patient information was anonymized and de-identified prior to analysis.

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Donat-Vargas, C., Guerrero-Zotano, Á., Lope, V. et al. Type does matter. Use VIRGIN olive oil as your preferred fat to reduce your risk of breast cancer: case-control EpiGEICAM study. Eur J Clin Nutr 76, 1343–1346 (2022).

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