Could extra virgin Olive Oil be an effective treatment against the onset of Alzheimer’s? That conclusion was reached by a group of researchers at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, according to USA Today. The findings could have a beneficial impact on since an aging population is expected to result in an explosion of people who suffer from the disease that robs them of memory and then their self-identity before killing them. Alzheimer’s takes the great, including former President Ronald Reagan and actors Charlton Heston and Gene Wilder, and the small alike.

No cure currently exists, so some treatments are available that alieves some of the symptoms and even slows the progress of the disease.

How does olive oil work to preserve memory?

The researchers at Temple did mouse studies, comparing a group of mice that was fed a diet that contained extra virgin olive oil and a group that was not. The results were that the mice that were fed a diet rich in EVOO had better learning and memory abilities than the mice who were not.

Olive oil seems to help preserve neuron protections in the brain. It also reduces inflammation of the brain and switched on the autophagy process that helps to remove intracellular debris and toxins from the brain. A reduction in the autophagy process is thought to be an early indicator of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

The next step

The next step for researchers is to introduce olive oil in the diets of test subjects later in the aging process. The idea is to find out if it can be used to stave off or even reverse the onset of Alzheimer’s. If EVOO proves to be an effective treatment for the disease, the discovery will have profound implications for the management of one of the most debilitating diseases there.

The health benefits of olive oil

Olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet and contains monounsaturated vegetable fat, thought to be healthier than saturated animal fat. It is considered to be effective against a variety of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, strokes, depression, and type 2 diabetes.

If olive oil is also found to be effective against Alzheimer’s it is something that should be in everyone’s diet.

Typically olive oil is used as part of salad dressing, as part of a marinade, or as a cooking oil. Meat and veggies cooked in it tend to have a lighter, more savory taste that other kinds of vegetable oil. It is available in every supermarket with many chains having created their generic brands.