Reduce Cognitive Decline
Studies have shown that oleocanthal, a polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil, has the potential to reduce cognitive decline that comes with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil, also help to combat the oxidative stress associated with aging.
Italian researchers from the University of Florence have found that extra virgin olive oil polyphenols may prevent or delay the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease.
For this study that was published in PLOS One, a peer reviewed, open access journal, mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease were given oleuropein aglycone, the main polyphenol found in extra virgin olive oil for 8 weeks. The results showed that dietary supplementation of oleuropein aglycone strongly improved the cognitive performance of the mice compared to the group that did not receive the olive oil polyphenol.
The scientists also conducted memory performance tests and noted that in the mouse model, cognitive impairment was completely prevented by oleuropein aglycone administration to the mice.
While it is not the first time that olive oil and the Mediterranean diet appear to protect from Alzheimer’s, this research adds more evidence that, at least in part, these benefits can be traced back to the intake of extra virgin olive oil and its main polyphenol, oleuropein aglycone.
The researchers concluded that their results support the possibility that dietary supplementation with extra virgin olive oil may prevent or delay the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the severity of its symptoms.