Health Care

Extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent Alzheimer's disease

Extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent Alzheimer's disease”

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet are widely chronicled, but new research shows extra-virgin olive oil, a key part of the diet, may protect "against cognitive decline".

Now, scientists from Temple University in Pennsylvania discovered that using extra virgin olive oil in your meals might preserve memory and stave off neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease.

While recent studies have found that the phenolic compounds and antioxidant qualities of EVOO can protect against both disease-related and age-associated brain oxidation in mice, these studies only addressed one of the main characteristics of the Alzheimer's disease phenotype.

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet-rich in plant-based foods, olive oil and fish-have always been known.

Details of the study are featured in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

According to researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), the Mediterranean diet has always been associated with various health benefits. The latter substance, phosphorylated tau, is responsible for neurofibrillary tangles, which are suspected of contributing to the nerve cell dysfunction in the brain that is responsible for Alzheimer's memory symptoms. Twelve mice ate pellets made of corn, wheat, and milk protein, with minerals and vitamins.

Aside from performing better in the tests, the mice fed with extra-virgin olive oil have more synaptic integrity than those who did not. The comparison was with other mice who were not on that diet. The team used cold-pressed, first-extraction oil, a type that is pricey but carried by typical grocery stores.

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After a six-month period, the mice were put through various cognitive performance tests (including navigating through a maze and fear response training) before their brains underwent dissection and analysis.

Researchers at the college's Lewis Katz School of Medicine found mice with EVOO-enriched diets had better memories and learning abilities compared to the rodents who didn't eat the oil.

Nerve cells in the brains of the oil mice also looked healthier and worked better.

Pratico said the "exciting" finding sets researchers up for another experiment. The research team also identified the reasons behind why the oil is able to act as a protectant.

The olive oil was introduced into their diet when the mice were six months old, before any symptoms of cognitive degeneration began to emerge.

Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and has been linked to numerous health benefits. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. "I've been doing this for a while." he said. You have encouraged us in our mission - to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day.

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