Study: Olive oil can protect against dementia in mice
Researchers in Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine have found that extra virgin olive oil can protect against a form of dementia in mice.
Scientists at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine have discovered that consuming extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in early adulthood could protect against a form of dementia.
In a new study recently published in the journal Aging Cell, the researchers present their results, which showed that extra virgin olive oil reduced the risk of frontotemporal dementia in mice.
Frontotemporal dementia typically manifests between ages 40 and 65, and can lead to behavior and personality changes, difficulty speaking and writing, and eventual memory deterioration. In the newest study, mice engineered to develop dementia that were put on a diet containing EVOO at an age comparable to 30 or 40 in humans were 60 percent less likely than mice not fed EVOO to develop the damaging tau protein deposits in the brain that lead to frontotemporal dementia. The mice fed EVOO also performed better on memory and learning tests than their non-EVOO counterparts.
Domenico Praticò, the Scott Richards North Star Foundation Chair for Alzheimer’s Research, a professor in the departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology, and director of the Alzheimer’s Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, led the research team. Previously, Praticò and his colleagues discovered that a diet including EVOO protected against Alzheimer’s in mouse models.
“EVOO has been a part of the human diet for a very long time and has many benefits for health, for reasons that we do not yet fully understand,” Praticò said. “The realization that EVOO can 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.”