Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

Does Olive Oil Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease?

Posted by Total Access Medical on Aug 29, 2018

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 1.37.50 PM.jpgThe health benefits of olive oil are unrivaled, and research reveals more benefits nearly every day. In fact, we are only just beginning to understand the countless ways olive oil can improve our health, and our lives.

Other than improving heart health, olive oil has been shown to decrease arterial inflammation, lower blood pressure and contribute to weight loss.

One recent study shows that olive oil stops brain cancer tumors. And now, a new study shows that it protects brain tissue from the toxic substances thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease due to oleic acid, olive oil’s main monounsaturated fatty acid.

The experiment used a well-verified Alzheimer’s mouse model to examine the effects of a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil versus one without it. The researchers examined the brain tissue from both diet groups and found big differences that could only be attributed to diet. Brain cells in the olive oil group were visibly healthier, with stronger connectivity between neurons. Amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, were reduced in the olive oil group as were levels of phosphorylated tau, the substance that disrupts brain cell function in Alzheimer’s patients.

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The researchers found that olive oil sparks “nerve cell autophagy,” a process that destroys and removes amyloid and phosphorylated tau before either have a chance to accumulate in the brain and cause the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Bottom line: difference in diet is the only way to explain the effects, and that’s a big win for olive oil. With these studies there’s always the necessary caveat that what works for mice may or may not work as well for humans, and the only way we’ll know for sure is to study the same effect in a human experiment. Since the results of this study were so encouraging, a human study seems likely. 

Consider this to be yet another potentially great reason to add olive oil to your diet.

80,000 cases of brain cancer are diagnosed every year in the U.S., and one third of those cases involve malignant tumors. Nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. are living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor. Brain cancer is also the main cause of cancer-related deaths for children under age 14. 


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Topics: Staying Healthy, Recent Research, Nutrition, Healthy Mind, Diet, Healthy Eating