Is Olive Oil Bad For Your Brain?
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
It’s the SIXTH leading cause of death in the US…
More than 5.4 million people are currently living with this dreadful disease…
And that means over 15 million caregivers have gave OVER 17 billion in FREE care…
This year, this disease is estimated to cost the nation over 200 billion dollars and rise to over 1 TRILLION in healthcare costs by the year 2050…
ONE in THREE seniors will die with this disease or some other form of dementia…
The disease is Alzheimer’s.
Although there is currently no cure, there are new breakthroughs every day in the fight against this disease.
One of those breakthroughs happen to be the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
And so far, the omega-3 fatty acids, diet, and exercise may all play a role in preventing this disease.
But now, a new player has entered the ring…
Olive Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease
Do you know someone, usually an older adult, whose mood changes from day to day – or even from moment to moment?
Do they find simple tasks difficult, like playing Bridge or balancing a checkbook?
Do they often get lost going to the store or to their favorite eatery?
Have they lose interest in things that they used to love?
Do they commonly misplace items and have no idea where they put them?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then chances are they may be experiencing some form of cognitive impairment, dementia, or even the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, research has shown a lot of different nutrients may slow the degeneration of brain cells.
Some things, such as omega-3 fatty acids, cutting back on certain fats (trans-fats), exercise, and berries, have all been highlighted in studies as ways to slow the progression.
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But today, olive oil--the #1 oil used for cooking--has entered the ring - due to a specific compound found in it – as a way to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s.
The compound in question: Oleocanthal.
A new study has shown that high olive oil intake may be linked to a reduction in risk for Alzheimer’s, but the reason for this reduction is unclear.
The new study shows that oleocanthal may have the ability to clear beta amyloid proteins from the brain, therefore reducing the risk.
Beta-amyloids are proteins, which are present in high concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, and may be the reason for the eventual neurodegenerative processes of destroying brain cells.
Here’s what they found:
Oleocanthal, when administered to mice brain cells, activated a specific pathway (in the brain cells) that increased the expression of major transport proteins in the brain.
This resulted in an increased clearance of beta amyloid proteins from brain cells, and an increase brain efflux index.
Also, they showed that oleocanthal may have the power to break down the beta amyloid proteins by increasing the activity of beta amyloid enzymes.
What they concluded:
“These findings provide experimental support that potential reduced risk of AD associated with extra-virgin olive oil could be mediated by enhancement of AB clearance from the brain.”
The Many Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil, research suggests, has many potential benefits to health.
From intestinal health, to fat loss, and even to reducing inflammation, should make it the preferred choice when it comes to promoting good health.
And to make it an even better oil of choice, olive oil, research suggests, could even reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re looking for a better oil to use for cooking, salads, or as a topper, then look no further than the health-promoting benefits of olive oil.
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Abuznait AH, Qosa H, Busnena BA, El Sayed KA, Kaddoumi A. Olive-Oil-Derived Oleocanthal Enhance B-Amyloid Clearance as a Potential Neuroprotective Mechanize against Alzheimer’s Disease: In Vitro and in Vivo Studies. ACS Chem. Neurosci. Article ASAP. 2013. doi: 10.1021/cn400024q.