New research conducted by the Institute of Cellular Biology and Neurobiology in Rome, showed that olive polyphenols may affect certain proteins in the brain that are involved in memory, learning and thinking.
For this study published in the journal Nutrition, the researchers provided mice with an olive extract that contained olive polyphenols. This olive extract was obtained from olive pomace, the remains of the olives after the oil has been extracted.
After 10 days they measured levels of Nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which are neurotrophins.
Neurotrophins are proteins that are involved in the proper functioning and development of neurons. According to the researchers NGF and BDNF play key roles in brain cell development, growth, and survival.
The researchers found elevated levels of NGF and BDNF in the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs compared to the control group. The researchers concluded that olive polyphenols in mice may increase the levels of NGF and BDNF in crucial areas, which play a key role in learning and memory processes.