Common oil can fight Alzheimer’s

A common condiment used in most kitchens could prevent the onset of cognitive decline including Alzheimer’s disease.

Extra virgin olive oil has long been lauded for a big range of health benefits, from helping your heart to curing erectile dysfunction. It can decrease inflammation, can be used topically to prevent sun damage and, through regular dietary intake, may increase your longevity.

Now new research has found that adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet can improve memory and fight dementia.

While scientists have yet to find a clear cause of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the build-up of tau – an abnormal protein found in the brain – has long been considered one such cause.

A recent study published in Aging Cell found that diets rich in extra virgin olive oil can actually decrease the presence of tau and slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

Tau collects into ‘tangles’ (tauopathies) and interrupt communication in the brain, which leads to memory loss and decreased brain function.

In this study, 16 mice prone to developing tauopathies were fed diets rich in extra virgin olive oil for six months. After six months they were tested on memory and learning abilities. The results were then compared to 15 mice eating normal diets.

The animals whose diets were supplemented with olive oil showed an improvement in several subjects, including working memory, spatial and learning memory and communication within the hippocampus – the memory-making part of brain. All of those effects were linked to the decrease of tau in the brain.

As if extra virgin olive oil wasn’t considered healthy enough, the results of this study show it may yet still have even more undiscovered health benefits.

Do you think you’re getting enough olive oil? Would this study influence you to consume more?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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