According to a recently released study, extra virgin olive oil could possibly be useful in trying to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Research on the matter was carried out by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. A study paper is available in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
The new research is based on a series of lab tests on mice, split into two groups. While one of them received an olive oil based diet, the others acted as a control group. Tests were carried out over nine months and 12 months.
According to the study results, the mice on a virgin olive oil-based diet presented higher learning abilities. They also seemed to have a better memory. In terms of appearance, the two groups still looked the same. However, the virgin olive oil group appeared to have a better spatial memory as well, not only higher learning abilities.
The research team pointed out that neuron connections and other inner workings of the mice’s brains appeared to be better preserved after these had consumed virgin olive oil. They consider that this was made possible by the oil’s being healthier when compared to saturated animal fats.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and AD
The link to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and the olive oil acting as a potential prevention method was traced back to the autophagy process. Some researchers consider that a reduction in this process could potentially trigger the beginning of AD.
Extra virgin olive oil was noted to be capable of activating autophagy. This enables the removal of toxins and debris in the brain. It was also noted to help reduce brain inflammations as well.
“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,” stated Domenico Pratico.
He is the senior investigator of the study and a Lewis Klein School of Medicine professor. Pratico added that his team is looking to take a closer look at the effects of olive oil in relation to AD. Namely, they will try to determine if its later addition to the diet can help reduce or possibly even stop or “reverse” the neurodegenerative disease.
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