Researchers at Philadelphia’s Temple University have discovered that extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Another benefit of an extra-virgin olive oil enriched diet is improved learning abilities.


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Researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Philadelphia’s Temple University (LKSOM) recently discovered that extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The research study also showed that this type of olive oil can improve a person’s learning abilities and protect memories.

The research study was published online this week in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. The researchers found that by consuming olive oil, the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, which are prominent markers of the disease, is reduced.

“This is an exciting finding for us,” explained senior investigator Dr. Domenico Praticò, a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at LKSOM. The study was conducted on six-month-old mice. Praticò and his team are now preparing to test the effects of extra-virgin olive oil on 12-month-old mice. At this age, several Alzheimer’s symptoms are already present.

“Usually when a patient sees a doctor for suspected symptoms of dementia, the disease is already present,” Praticò added. “We want to know whether olive oil added at a later time point in the diet can stop or reverse the disease.”