Olive Oil Against Alzheimers

Increases brain plasticity and lowers cholesterol

Woman eating olive oil

Woman eating olive oil

Humans have been enjoying the known and unknown health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) for thousands of years and, more recently, scientific research validates its cholesterol-lowering effect.

EVOO was found to protect against amyloid plaque accumulation, thought to be a prime cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

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EVOO, which is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, also helps the brain to continue learning, adapting, and taking in new information, which is known as “plasticity.”

From the Greek word ‘plastos’ meaning molded, plasticity is both a conceptual and actual physical phenomenon. The human brain can constantly mold or modify its structures in response to learning or the environment generally. Positive plasticity is a response to desired life challenges such as learning Japanese or how to ice skate in one’s fifties or eighties.

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This latest study, published in Aging Cell, investigated the effect of chronic supplementation of EVOO with mice. The mice fed a diet supplemented with EVOO “displayed improved memory and cognition.” The study found “increased” improved nerve conductivity and “short-term plasticity.”

Tau Accumulation Prevention

Tauopathies include dementias that are characterized by the toxic accumulation of the tau protein that becomes tangled in the brain’s tissues, says Dr. Domenico Praticò, professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia.

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“These results strengthen the healthy benefits of EVOO and further support the therapeutic potential of this natural product” preventing memory loss, the researchers conclude.

References
i Lauretti E, Nenov M, Dincer O, Iuliano L, Praticò D. Extra virgin olive oil improves synaptic activity, short-term plasticity, memory, and neuropathology in a tauopathy model.Aging Cell. 2019 Nov 24:e13076. doi: 10.1111/acel.13076. [Epub ahead of print]
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