Auburn University Raising Money for Olive Oil and Alzheimer's Research

Researchers at Auburn University have found that a compound in extra virgin olive oil might be valuable for helping prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo courtesy of Magnus Manske
Feb. 19, 2019
By Mary West
Photo courtesy of Magnus Manske

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On February 21, Auburn University will host Tiger Giving Day, a 24-hour effort to raise funds for the insti­tu­tion.

Part of the rev­enue will be des­ig­nated for promis­ing research that shows oleo­can­thal, a nat­u­rally occur­ring com­pound in extra vir­gin olive oil, can help Alzheimer’s patients.

I’d like to invite Olive Oil Times’ read­ers to join me in sup­port­ing this project by giv­ing to it and by shar­ing the infor­ma­tion through social media and email.- Amal Kaddoumi, Alzheimer’s researcher at Auburn University

In an inter­view with Olive Oil Times, Amal Kaddoumi related the stag­ger­ing preva­lence of the dis­or­der and touches on what her team is doing in the fight against it.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 mil­lion Americans are liv­ing with Alzheimer’s, with the num­ber pro­jected to dou­ble by 2050,” she said in a writ­ten state­ment. Currently one in 10 peo­ple over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s demen­tia. If you look around your office, your home or your neigh­bor­hood and do the math, it quickly becomes a wor­ri­some num­ber.”

See Also: Alzheimer’s and Olive Oil

However, we at Auburn University would like to make it a thing of the past, using some­thing that you prob­a­bly have in your kitchen right now,” she added. My team and I are work­ing to under­stand how oleo­can­thal in extra vir­gin olive oil may be able to pre­vent or even reverse the pro­gres­sion of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. This com­pound, when given sep­a­rately or as part of the oil, has already shown a lot of promise in our pre­vi­ous research, and we would like to see if it works in peo­ple.”

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On February 21, we will have one 24-hour day to raise money so more peo­ple can try this ther­apy out in our clin­i­cal trial,” she con­tin­ued. It’s part of a larger Auburn University effort called Tiger Giving Day,’ and we are excited to be a part of it! Since the time win­dow is so short, every­thing will be done online. We are get­ting things ready and set­ting up a spe­cial web­site for the big day.”

I’d like to invite Olive Oil Times’ read­ers to join me in sup­port­ing this project by giv­ing to it and by shar­ing the infor­ma­tion through social media and email,” she added. If you have any ques­tions, please don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact me.”

Kaddoumi has good rea­son to be hope­ful about the research. In November of 2018, she reported on her mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary team’s inves­ti­ga­tion of oleo­can­thal as a novel treat­ment for Alzheimer’s dis­ease. The com­pound is a strong antiox­i­dant and a non-steroidal anti-inflam­ma­tory agent.

Her stud­ies reveal oleo­can­thal-rich extra vir­gin olive oil is highly effec­tive in reduc­ing behav­iors related to Alzheimer’s.

We are very excited about our find­ings with oleo­can­thal, which demon­strated sev­eral pos­i­tive effects against Alzheimer’s in mice that express the dis­ease, such as enhanc­ing the blood-brain bar­rier func­tion and reduc­ing the for­ma­tion of amy­loid-beta plaques and neu­roin­flam­ma­tion, all of which are hall­marks of Alzheimer’s,” Kaddoumi said in a press release.

Kaddoumi added that the results sug­gest oleo­can­thal could be ben­e­fi­cial for pro­tect­ing mem­ory and learn­ing abil­ity in patients with the dis­or­der. Her team is hop­ing their work leads to clin­i­cal tri­als and results in a new treat­ment for Alzheimer’s and related con­di­tions.





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