Olive Oil For Your Brain
New research suggests that extra virgin olive oil can help protect against the buildup of an abnormal form of tau, a protein in the brain. Unchecked, too much tau can lead to dementia, but investigators performing studies in mice at Temple University previously reported that extra virgin olive oil preserves memory and protects against Alzheimer’s disease. They now have learned that extra virgin olive oil can protect against a specific type of mental decline known as frontotemporal dementia. In humans, this disease affects areas of the brain near the forehead and ears and leads to changes in personality and behavior. It can also present as problems with language and writing and the eventual deterioration of memory, along with losing the ability to learn from prior experiences. The new study, in young mice, showed that dietary extra virgin olive oil protected against deterioration in memory and learning as the animals aged. Their brain tissue looked normal and showed no signs of cognitive decline. Study leader Dominico Praticò, M.D., noted that the realization that extra virgin olive oil can help protect the brain against different forms of dementia “gives us an opportunity to learn more about the mechanisms through which it acts to support brain health.”
Dominico Praticò et al, “Extra Virgin olive oil improves synaptic activity, short-term plasticity, memory, and neuropathology in a tauopathy model,” Aging Cell, November 24, 2019, doi: 10.1111/acel.13076.
More from this week’s bulletin:
- Ultra-Processed Foods & Your Heart
- Air Pollution & Glaucoma
- This week’s healthful soup recipe: Immunity Soup