`How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Protect from Alzheimer’s

Health

How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Protect from Alzheimer’s Disease

Mar. 26, 2013
Elena Paravantes

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Olive oil has been asso­ci­ated with pro­tec­tion against cog­ni­tive decline that comes with aging, and stud­ies have shown that the Mediter­ranean diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dis­ease and that the monoun­sat­u­rated fat in olive oil was mainly respon­si­ble for this effect.

Now stud­ies are now show­ing that it is in fact oleo­can­thal, a nat­ural com­pound found in extra vir­gin olive oil that has antiox­i­dant and anti­n­flam­ma­tory action that may have the pro­tec­tive effect.

In Alzheimer’s dis­ease, it is believed that dam­age to the brain starts when deposits of beta-amy­loid pro­tein (Aβ) form plaques in the brain even­tu­ally dis­rupt­ing nerve cell func­tion and lead­ing to the death of these neu­rons.

In this new study, researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Louisiana exam­ined the effect of oleo­can­thal on the abnor­mal pro­tein.

By look­ing at the action of oleo­can­thal in cul­tured cells, but also the brains of lab­o­ra­tory ani­mals they found that this olive oil phe­nol was pro­mot­ing the pro­duc­tion of two other pro­teins that are believed to play an impor­tant role in remov­ing Aβ from the brain.

In their study pub­lished in Chem­i­cal Neu­ro­science, researchers con­cluded that the oleo­can­thal in extra vir­gin olive oil has the poten­tial to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and related neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive demen­tias.

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