You’re probably already aware of the many health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, and in particular, olive oil.
Past research has shown that adopting this type of diet can help lower cholesterol, help with weight loss, improve rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.
A staple in the Mediterranean diet, researchers at University of Louisiana have discovered that olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal that protects nerve calls from the Alzheimer’s-causing peptide beta amyloid.
Their research stems from a larger trend observed in the worldwide prevalence of the cognitive illness: While it’s estimated that 30 million people suffer from the disease around the world, rates are notably lower in Mediterranean countries.
In animal studies, scientists found that oleocanthal worked by boosting the production of proteins and key enzymes believed to be critical in removing the beta-amyloid in 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.
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