Could a common oil you have in your kitchen right now help prevent Alzheimer’s ? Researchers say, “yes!”
For years now we’ve been encouraging folks to “go Mediterranean” to stave off cognitive decline. We’ve explained how this ancient diet could protect precious memories well into their senior years.
In fact, way back in 2010 we began telling Healthier Talk readers that adopting a diet with lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, nuts and healthy fats including extra virgin olive oil would help protect them against Alzheimer’s disease.
And now new research has revealed we’ve been right all along.
According to a new study, published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Transitional Neurology, one key element of the so-called Mediterranean diet offers special protection against Alzheimer’s: extra virgin olive oil (EVO).1
Researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University have proven that eating the olive oil protects memory and learning ability.
But most importantly, the EVO reduces the buildup of the beta amyloid plaques and tangles that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Extra virgin olive oil linked to better memory
The researchers used mice bred to develop key signs of Alzheimer’s including memory problems, plaques and tangles.
Starting at six months old before any signs of Alzheimer’s would have developed…
- Group-one: got mouse chow with EVO
- Group-two: got the same chow minus the oil
- Group three: was kept as a control
The mice developed the same except by nine months the EVO eaters were performing significantly better on tests. They aced memory tests designed to measure working memory, spatial memory and learning abilities.
At twelve months when they were tested again the trend continued. The EVO mice beat the whiskers off of the regular chow mice.
EVO preserved brains better
But when the researchers took a look at the brain tissue of the mice. And that’s when they knew they were REALLY onto something huge. There was a dramatic difference between the brains of the EVO mice and the regular chow eaters.
The appearance of the nerve cells and their function were drastically different between the two groups. The synapses, or connections, between the neurons were very well preserved in the critters who got the extra virgin olive oil chow.
And the researchers were even able to figure out how the oil fought off the development of memory problems and Alzheimer’s.
Olive oil swept away Alzheimer’s plaques and tangles
According to the scientists the olive oil helped protect the memory of the mice in two ways.
First of all the extra virgin olive oil reduced brain inflammation. But even more importantly it triggered the cell’s clean-up crew to get to work.
You see debris and toxins—including Alzheimer’s linked amyloid plaques and tangle-building tau—start to build up in brain cells, which can lead to memory problems.
But the EVO triggered a process called autophagy in which the cells break down that debris, and sweep it away.
The brain cells from the mice on the extra virgin olive oil diet had far fewer of the classic markers of Alzheimer’s.
And the best news of all is that you can put these findings to work in your own life. Immediately, starting with your next meal. Just begin including more organic extra virgin olive oil in your dishes. It will help you stay as sharp as a tack for many years to come.