Olive oil found to protect against Alzheimer's disease

Want to keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay? A new study suggests upping your intake of olive oil.

While the Mediterranean liquid gold has long been touted for its multiple health benefits, a team of US scientists from the University of Louisiana hs identified a specific component in olive oil that they say protects nerve cells from damage brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.

Their research stems from a larger trend observed in the worldwide prevalence of the cognitive illness: While it’s estimated that 30 million people suffer from the disease around the world, rates are notably lower in Mediterranean countries.

And though scientists had long attributed the trend to the high consumption of healthy, monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, the latest study, released by the American Chemical Society last week, identifies a substance called oleocanthal that was observed to protect against the leading cause of Alzheimer’s in the brain: the accumulation of peptide beta-amyloid.

The findings were published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

In animal studies, scientists found that oleocanthal worked by boosting the production of proteins and key enzymes believed to be critical in removing the beta-amyloid in the brain.

“Extra-virgin olive oil-derived oleocanthal associated with the consumption of Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD or related neurodegenerative dementias," the report concludes.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, another study found that olive oil is an effective way of satiating hunger pangs and curbing the munchies. For their research, Austrian researchers fed participants yogurt enriched with lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil or olive oil.

The result? Olive oil had the biggest satiety effect.


vs/kc

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future Sat, Apr 19, 2014
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.