Could olive oil be effective against Alzheimer's?

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil May Help Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease, Study Reveals

How does olive oil work to preserve memory? It is found that the said oil could protect memory and fight against Alzheimer's disease.

In a study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, researchers show that the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain - classic markers of Alzheimer's disease. This debris is strongly associated with an onset of Alzheimer's, and this finding indicates that the oil would prevent and tackle the disease directly.

The extra virgin olive oil used in the study was cold pressed and first extraction, a type of olive oil that was a little pricey but often found in grocery stores.

Mice with induced Alzheimer's who were fed a diet of olive oil had higher levels of autophagy in the brain, according to researchers. "Thanks to the autophagy activation, memory and synaptic integrity were preserved, and the pathological effects in animals otherwise destined to develop Alzheimer's disease were significantly reduced".

Extra-virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and nuts. At end of the study, brain analysis of mice on the oil diet showed "synaptic integrity", which refer to connections between the nerve cells of the brain.

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In the new study, researchers conducted tests on mice that were engineered to develop brain changes such as symptoms of Alzheimer's. Additionally, extra-virgin olive oil can activate a certain process known as autophagy.

As all the above are major characteristics of the Alzheimer's disease phenotype, the study demonstrated that EVOO had a beneficial influence, with researchers concluding that the study provides "support to the positive cross-sectional and longitudinal data on this component of the Mediterranean diet, and most importantly the biological rationale to the novel hypothesis that EVOO could be considered as a viable therapeutic opportunity for preventing or halting Alzheimer's disease". He and his colleagues carried this study and mice and found that mice with EVOO-enriched diets had better memories and learning abilities compared to those who didn't.

The olive oil was introduced into the diet when the mice were 6 months old, before symptoms of Alzheimer's disease begin to emerge in the animal model. "We want to know whether olive oil added at a later time point in the diet can stop or reverse the disease". Tests on working memory are similar to holding thoughts in a person's mind while doing a task.

Extra virgin oil is part of the much purported Mediterranean diet that is known to be good for the brain as well as the heart.

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