E.V.O.O. (you Rachel Ray fans know that) extra virgin olive oil might help prevent Alzheimer’s disease according to a study that will appear in the Oct 15 edition of the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.
Specifically, the compound oleocanthal in extra-virgin olive oil has been found to alter the structure of certain toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer’s. Researchers say the discovery could lead to successful treatments against the disease.
Beta-amyloid oligomers, or ADDLs, disrupt nerve cell function, which is one of the first processes associated with Alzheimer’s, according to researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center. By exposing ADDLs to oleocanthal, researchers were able to increase the size of the ADDLs, stopping them from binding to the synapses of the hippocampus, the memory-control center of the brain that is often first affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers also discovered that, once the ADDLs had been enlarged by the oleocanthal, they became a better target for antibodies, the immune system’s natural defense mechanism.
Experts caution that clinical trials must support the laboratory results but for my money you get a two for one – olive oil helps your heart and now maybe your brain. Readers – start your cooking!