More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and, worldwide, nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer's or dementia. But results of a scientific study suggest that making extra virgin olive oil part of your diet will help keep your brain healthy.
The study, published in 2013 by researchers at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, concluded that high amounts of a chemical called oleocanthal decreases the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain, a main characteristic of the mind-robbing disease.
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Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil type of olive oil. According to oliveoiltimes.com, extra virgin olive oil should have the flavor of fresh olives.
The American Chemical Society indicated the researchers were looking into why the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is lower in Mediterranean countries, which scientists have attributed it to the high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats in olive oil, which is consumed in large amounts in the Mediterranean diet.
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The ACS said newer research suggested the actual protective agent might be a substance called oleocanthal, which protects nerve cells from the kind of damage that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers tracked the effects of oleocanthal in the brains and cultured brain cells of laboratory mice. They found that in both cases, oleocanthal consistently boosted production of two proteins and key enzymes thought to be critical in removing beta-amyloid from the brain, the ACS said.
“Extra-virgin olive oil-derived oleocanthal associated with the consumption of Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD (Alzheimer’s disease) or related neurodegenerative dementias,” the researchers wrote.
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