Could olive oil be the answer to Alzheimer’s?
The excellent Channel 4 TV programme SUPERFOODS this week reported on a study conducted by the University of Louisiana which suggested that premium olive oil protects brain tissue from the toxic substances thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
Essentially a build-up of plaques (clusters of protein fragments) in the brain cause neurotoxicity which leads to nerve cells (very important for memory and cognitive function) ceasing to function, then starting to die and ultimately to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
The Study discovered that the Oleocanthal present in top quality extra virgin olive oil stimulates enzymes in the brain to destroy and remove any protein fragments before they have a chance to accumulate and cause the associated disastrous consequences.
The study suggests that the benefits are maximised if the extra virgin olive oil is a premium quality one (no adulteration), is as fresh as possible, gives lots of flavour in the mouth and makes one cough! The latter is a sure fire indicator that the oil is rich in antioxidants and therefore the all-important Oleocanthal.
The Programme recommends that you only choose a high-quality extra virgin olive oil and that you drizzle it fresh onto a dish AFTER cooking as heat can degrade the oil and therefore the benefits of the Oleocanthal.
So even more reason to drizzle our superb premium olive oils both plentifully and often!