Photo courtesy of Magnus Manske

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 more: 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.”

“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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