Study: Olive Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s

Photo by Monica Ongpin via Flickr

Photo by Monica Ongpin via Flickr

Of the many words that we dread hearing, one of the most dreaded is Alzheimer’s. Many people fear losing themselves or their family members to this degenerative brain disease that not only makes us forget who we are and the names of our friends and family, but is also fatal.  Alzheimer’s disease is no joke.  It is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and currently has no cure.

Alzheimer’s kills brain cells, which leads to memory loss and to changes in our behavior and thoughts, affecting our activities of daily living and social life. However, even though the outlook for Alzheimer’s looks bleak, there is a worldwide effort to find better treatments to prevent the disease from developing.

The in vitro findings of a team of researchers from Monell Center and Northwestern University may hold the key to preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.  These researchers studied the affects of oleocanthal (a natural compound found in extra-virgin olive oil) on highly toxic proteins that are believed to contribute to the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s.  They incubated these toxic proteins with oleocanthal and found that the oleocanthal altered the structure of the proteins by making them bigger.  This affected the proteins’ ability to bind to neural synapses and damage brain nerve cells.  They also discovered that oleocanthal made these toxic proteins more accessible to antibodies.  This looks like a very promising area of study that may lead to a way to slow or halt the progress of Alzheimer’s.

What does this mean?
This means we are getting closer to find a cure for this debilitating disease.  However, studies have to move out of in vitro tests and into clinical trials before we’ll know how effective oleocanthal would be for Alzheimer’s treatments.  So, only time will tell.  Until then, I’ll continue eating extra-virgin olive oil, regularly.  After all, it is healthy in many other ways and it is rich in oleocanthal, which may prevent or decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Source: Monell Chemical Senses Center

Comments (4)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by charsan and Christopher Gaudette, Christopher Gaudette. Christopher Gaudette said: Study: Olive Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s: Of the many words that we dread hearing, one of the most dreaded .. http://bit.ly/41eaoP […]

  2. Maria Isabel says:

    It is great to know that extra-virgin-olive oil can prevent Alzheimer’s. It use olive oil in almost all my cooking.

  3. Emily says:

    Thanks for posting this, Talli. Maybe you can do a full episode on Alzheimer’s at some point. It’s a really, really scary disease. I try to keep my brain active in hopes of preventing it someday.

  4. […] Study: Olive Oil May Fight Alzheimer’s […]

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