Olive Oil has been touted as a food source to help reduce our risk for dementia, with the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) being lower in Mediterranean countries. Now there are some preliminary data to support this claim and explain how it helps.
Amal Kaddoumi and colleagues recently published a study in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience that suggests the benefit is found in a component of the oil that helps remove some of the proteins from our brain that are associated with the development and progression of AD symptoms. Although once thought to be the benefit of monounsaturated fats found in the olive oil, new data suggests that the protective factor might be from something called oleocanthal. This substance seems to boost two enzymes used to help rid the brain of beta-amyloid…remember that beta-amyloid we’ve written so much about in the past? Extra-virgin olive oil appears to be particularly promising based on their research, with the potential to reduce the risk of AD and other related dementias.
Bottom Line: In addition to your red wine, green tea, fish oil, exercise (brain and body) managing your stress, blood pressure, and taking care of your heart, add some extra-virgin olive oil to your diet. Not only does it make cooking fun, but it likely will help your brain. One more arrow for our quiver to help us all age a bit more gracefully.