It is a well-known fact that extra virgin olive oil is far healthier as they are the least processed forms of olive oil; they have more monounsaturated fatty acids than other olive oil. The extra virgin type also has more polyphenols. In fact lignans like acetoxypinoresinol, pinoresinol are present only in the extra virgin olive oil and not in other forms. This is often cited as the reason why olive oil is healthy for the heart.
In a major study conducted recently, it is proved that extra virgin olive oil also protects people from getting Alzheimer’s (AD). This study is published in the Journal Chemical Neuroscience; the researchers say that the reason for this might be a component in the olive oil which helps in the removal of the abnormal AD protein from the brain.
Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease affects around 30 million people worldwide and based on percentages the Mediterranean countries have the least rate. While until recently scientists thought that the high amount of monounsaturated fat is the reason, but recent studies prove that the real reason might be an agent named oleocanthal, this agent prevent nerve cell damage that usually occurs in AD. A research conducted on laboratory mice proved that oleocanthal boosted production of two proteins and key enzymes that aids in removing AD from the brain.
“Extra-virgin olive oil-derived oleocanthal associated with the consumption of Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD or related neurodegenerative dementias,” the report concludes.