In a new report in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, the researchers said they have determined a key component of olive oil helps remove abnormal proteins tied to Alzheimer’s from the brain.
Amal Kaddoumi and colleagues said their research indicates a substance called oleocanthal appears to protect nerve cells from the kind of damage that typically occurs in Alzheimer’s patients.
Kaddoumi's team noted Alzheimer’s affects about 30 million people worldwide, but the prevalence is lower in Mediterranean countries. Scientists have suspected the high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats in olive oil — consumed in large amounts in the Mediterranean diet — may be a factor, but had not determined precisely why or how.ALERT: 5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease
To solve the mystery, Kaddoumi's team studied the impact of oleocanthal on the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins that clump together in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, causing memory loss and other mental declines.
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