When Athan Gadanidis was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October of 2018, he took part in a pilot study at the University of Athens that looks into the potential of oleocanthal-rich olive oil to treat his condition.
“Actually the pilot treatment originated with me, I began it, it was my idea,” Gadanidis told the Greek Reporter. “What prompted me to do it is that the biopsy showed that the cancer was aggressive, and the standard protocol for this is anti-androgen therapy — which is actually chemical castration.”
Gadanidis has been working in the field of olive oil research for the last seven years, ever since the Health Claim Regulation Act came into effect in 2012. This regulation created a new category of olive oil which is based on the amount and concentration of polyphenols it contains. Polyphenols can be found in “agoureleo,” an early harvest olive oil which is rich in these substances.
The Greek-Canadian man maintains that this is actually the medicinal-quality olive oil which Dioscorides and Hippocrates wrote about 2,500 years ago.
Gadanidis has been treated naturally ever since his diagnosis, aside from two emergency anti-androgen injections.
Through his research in the olive oil industry in Greece, Gadanidis met Dr. Prokopios Magiatis and Dr. Eleni Melliou at the University of Athens, the scientists who discovered the method for quickly and accurately measuring polyphenols using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment.
This method is responsible for accelerating research into olive oil phenolic compounds by allowing the rapid testing of different olive oils. Through this method, the researchers discovered that the oleocanthal type of oil was the most powerful of them all because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. The doctors even believe it can cure the dreaded disease of cancer, killing cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
For the last nine months, Gadanidis has been drinking approximately 60 grams of high-phenolic olive oil per day. He is also preparing to receive an injection of pure oleocanthal olive oil directly into his prostate in the next three months.
He says that he needs to do this and observe the results before he can go on to the next stage of decision making in his cancer treatment.
Because Gadanidis believes that the results of the study will be groundbreaking, he has set up a GoFundMe campaign, called the “Prostate Cancer Pilot Study,” to raise money for further scientific research.
One of the scientists running the study, Dr. Eleni Melliou, told the Greek Reporter that she and her colleague will be supplying the pure oleocanthal oil to the doctors who will be treating Gadanidis.
Melliou explained “We have also performed clinical trials indicating that ingesting high oleocanthal olive oil kills cancer cells in the bloodstream. The results of an ongoing clinical study in Greece on patients in the initial stages of chronic lymphocytic leukemia have shown that after two years, the white blood cell count had declined in these patients without having undergone any chemotherapy.”
The university team analyzed 2,500 samples of olive oil from Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Cyprus for phenolic compounds last year as part of a European project named “Aristoil.” After screening the samples, they found that the Greek olive oil is higher in oleocanthal properties, due to its different varieties as well as soil and environmental conditions.
As encouraging as the results are for their research on the health benefits of Greek olive oil, especially for cancer, Dr. Melliou and her partner Dr. Magiatis had seriously considered moving to the United States not only for financial reasons; more importantly, it was because the scientists have suffered academic bullying and contempt.
To them, it has even felt as if Greek academia had declared war on them in relation to their research.
However, Dr. Melliou told the Greek Reporter that they not only still insist on working in Greece, they hope to offer increased value to olive oil through the nonprofit organization “World Olive Center for Health,” which was established in Athens in 2017 in collaboration with academics from Europe and the US.