A new study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology discovered that olive oil brings benefits to the brain as well, not only to the heart. A trial performed on mice proved that including extra virgin oil in meals helps with the preserving of memory and keeps away Alzheimer’s or other similar diseases.
Olive oil is good for the heart, but is it good for the brain as well?
Previous studies showed that a Mediterranean diet, which also includes olive oil, has dozens of benefits for the heart health. The new research analyzes the effect of the product on the brain, so scientists used genetically engineered mice to see how they react. These mice were specially programmed to undergo changes in the brain which lead to Alzheimer’s.
Usually, mouse trials return certain results, while human trials turn out different. However, researchers found this study promising. Previously, it had been proven that a Mediterranean diet is also good for the brain, and researchers wanted to find an explanation for the phenomenon.
Mice who ate olive oil scored better in memory tests
In the study, twelve mice were fed pellets which contained wheat, corn, and milk proteins, and ten of them also received small servings of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. They had to undergo this diet for six months. After this six months, and again after nine and twelve months, their memory was tested by researchers who were not aware of the special diet the mice had followed.
Those mice who ate olive oil scored better results on memory tests. Also, their brains contained 40 percent less tau, and 60 percent less amyloid. These chemicals are related to brain disorders, and a higher amount might lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Also, their nerve cells performed better, inflammation was reduced, and the beneficial process of autophagy was favorized. The next step of the research is to analyze the effects of olive oil on mice which have already started developing Alzheimer’s-specific traits.
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