Common condiment can improve memory and fight Alzheimer’s

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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 is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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20 Comments

Total Comments: 20
  1. 0
    0

    Never heat the oil though it turns into a carcinogen

  2. 0
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    There is a range of temperatures beyond which most oils may be harmful. I think the list can be found online. I remember olive oil as being one of the oils not recommended for high heat cooking such as deep frying or oven cooking at high temperatures. I use either extra virgin olive oil or a mix of the oil and real butter for frying. Tastes wonderful!

  3. 0
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    Another tick for the Mediterranean diet then.

  4. 0
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    Yeah right Leon.

  5. 0
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    The moral to this is don’t feed your mice virgin olive oil or they will remember where you set the mouse-trap.

  6. 0
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    Coconut oil is also recommended as a possible useful oil for Alzheimers.
    Dr Mary Newport trialed it with her husband – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvh3JhsrQ0w&index=4&list=PLf3xkKFsZaCgsT4GB4ruqrl5hmVquxyNB&t=63s.

    Some people believe the brain’s inability to process sugar (the Diabetes 3 that Dr Newport speaks of in her books and lectures) is triggered by years of using low calorie sugar substitutes. Curiously about 40 years ago Finland initiated a public health programme and recommended a nationwide diet that was very low in fat. Many people were put on cholesterol lowering medications (Statins) and started consuming artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to reduce their risk of heart disease. Today Finland has the highest percentage of Alzheimers cases per population in the world.

    Another recommendation is taking lysine supplements – because some research suggests that Alzheimers is due to the bacteria that cause shingles and cold sores “invading” the brain. Lysine is one of the amino acids which helps treat shingles and herpes. Curiously coconut oil has antibacterial properties and some people maintain it helps prevent recurrent cold sores.

    St Johns Wort supplements can help reduce the severity of the mood swings that many Alzheimers patients get.

    • 0
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      Damn, I had a bout of shingles about 18 months ago.

    • 0
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      Could it be the statins or that Finland is one of the furthest mainland Euopean countries from the Mediteranean or that Finland’s diet is low in vegetables or that Finns don’t communicate with each other in the same way as most Europeans or that they get less sun? Could it be access to the vey cheap high octane vodka from nearby Estonia; we used it for dry cleaning. Finland also copped a lot of the Czernobyl fallout around 40 years ago which affected local food. I don’t use artificial sweeteners but with so many variables its drawing a long bow to implicate one element without exhaustive research.

    • 0
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      Yes, coconut oil is the best. But use sparingly as it is still fat.Great for your skin too. Shingles is caused by the EBV virus apparently, need to detox your liver.

  7. 0
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    I don’t like the taste of olives or olive oil, so I guess I’m in trouble! I do like other oils; grapeseed, rice bran, avocado etc, not other cheap ones. I’ll have to take my chances.

  8. 0
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    Another flawed research, we are not mice and olive oil is pure fat. Only oil that does not go rancid is coconut oil, unless your press your own olives daily it too is rancid. A diet without processed oils is best.

  9. 0
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    I don’t like the taste of olive oil, and often foods cooked in it take on the taste – such as chicken, fish etc. I therefore prefer a flavour neutral oil for cooking and use Grapeseed Oil. In tv programmes I have often heard Maggie Bear comment that this is her oil of choice also, where she doesn’t want to mask the flavour of the main ingredient.

    So many foods are said to either cause or prevent degenerative brain conditions, so I guess I will just stick to a well rounded diet made up of the foods I like the taste of!

  10. 0
    0

    I don’t like the taste of olive oil, and often foods cooked in it take on the taste – such as chicken, fish etc. I therefore prefer a flavour neutral oil for cooking and use Grapeseed Oil. In tv programmes I have often heard Maggie Bear comment that this is her oil of choice also, where she doesn’t want to mask the flavour of the main ingredient.

    So many foods are said to either cause or prevent degenerative brain conditions, so I guess I will just stick to a well rounded diet made up of the foods I like the taste of!


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