Alzheimer's: olive oil helps maintain a healthy brain
a new study conducted by Auburn University (Alabama, USA) reports on the benefits of extra virgin olive oil to improve memory functionsScroll next
With the aging of the population, Alzheimer's will affect more and more people in the coming years. This not only has consequences for the patient but also for their environment and public institutions. Recent studies tend to point to the deleterious impact of ultra-processed foods or even red meat on the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Others, on the contrary, insist on the benefits of vegetables, fish or even olive oil to prevent it. In fact, a new study conducted by Auburn University (Alabama, USA) reports on the benefits of extra virgin olive oil to improve memory functions . These results confirm the interest of a diet that incorporates EVOO to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Olive oil preserves the brain and improves cognitive abilities
Published in the journal Nutrients , the study carried out by Amal Kaddoumi focused on the consumption of olive oil in 25 patients with mild cognitive impairment, that is, one characterized by problems with memory, language, thinking or judgment that they are more severe than would be expected in the case of normal aging […] 10 to 15% of people with mild cognitive impairment develop a cognitive disease each year.
To carry out her experiment, Amal Kaddoumi divided her group of 25 participants in two. In the 1st group, 13 participants consumed the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day for 6 months. In the 2nd group, the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of refined olive oil was administered. Between the first MRIs done before the start of the experiments and the MRIs done 6 months later, many improvements were seen for both groups.
1st group: For the participants who consumed extra virgin olive oil, it was verified that their specific consumption had improved the function of their blood-brain barrier, a barrier that has the function of protecting the brain against toxins that circulate in the blood. Extra virgin olive oil also promoted connectivity between different brain regions.
2nd group: Participants who consumed only refined olive oil experienced an increase in the functional activity of brain regions involved in cognition.
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet
For each of these two cases, the benefits of olive oil have been shown to improve cognitive abilities and preserve the brain. Oleic acid, common to these two forms of olive oil, seems to be the common denominator in the appearance of these improvements. If this study focused on patients with mild cognitive impairment, further research in Alzheimer's patients should confirm the benefits of oleic acid.
Well known by dietitians for its therapeutic virtues against Parkinson's disease or various types of cancer, the Mediterranean diet is also recommended to protect against Alzheimer's disease. Among the key ingredients of this diet: fruits, fresh vegetables, cereals, oily fish, legumes and of course olive oil.