Breast cancer , less risk with the extra virgin olive oil Lametia Dop.

New research into the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and extra virgin olive oil.

Breast cancer , less risk with the extra virgin olive oil.

The Mediterranean diet — rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and olive oil, and low in dairy products and red meat — is linked to a reduced risk for breast cancer, according to a randomized trial.

Researchers randomly assigned 4,152 women with an average age of 68 to one of three eating plans: the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, the diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control group given only advice to reduce dietary fat. (Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first physical squeezing of the olives. Lesser grades are extracted by processing the remains.)

The study, in JAMA Internal Medicine, followed the patients for an average of 4.8 years and controlled for numerous variables, including age, smoking, B.M.I., family history of cancer, and physical activity. Thirty-five of the women developed breast cancer.

Compared with the controls, those on the diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil had a 68 percent lower risk for breast cancer. There was also a lower risk among those who ate the diet with nuts, but the reduction was not statistically significant.

“This is good news,” said the senior author, Dr. Miguel A. Martínez-González, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Navarra in Spain. “We usually don’t have clinical trials of nutrition. This is the first with a dietary pattern showing we can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.”