Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Alzheimer’s Benefits Linked in Study
Extra-virgin olive oil could help stave off or reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study from Temple University.
Researchers from the Pennsylvania university found that mice whose diets were enriched with extra-virgin olive oil improved their memory and ability to learn compared to mice who didn’t have the oil in their diets, USA Today reported.
Other results of the study showed brain inflammation was reduced by EVOO and that the autophagy process, which removes toxins and debris from cells, was activated in mice given the oil. Debris and toxins are often present in those who have Alzheimer’s, USA Today noted.
Although the study used mice, not humans, the Mediterranean diet, which is high in extra-virgin olive oil, has been linked to a lower risk of dementia and seems to support that the study results might also be true for humans, according to Newsweek.
“The thinking is that extra-virgin olive oil is better than fruits and vegetables alone,” said study lead and Temple professor Domenico Pratico, USA Today reported. “As a monounsaturated vegetable fat, it is healthier than saturated animal fats.”
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia in the U.S. It usually begins after age 60 and is the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults. Alzheimer’s affects about 5 million people in the U.S.
Some on Twitter welcomed the news about extra-virgin olive oil while others were somewhat skeptical of this study and other recent studies that showed coconut oil is bad for heart health.