Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Boost Memory & Fight Dementia, Study Finds

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.

Image by Miquel Llonch / Stocksy

If you’re roasting your veggies with avocado oil and baking your muffins with coconut oil, you might want to consider swapping or supplementing with extra virgin olive oil. New research has found that adding EVOO to your diet can improve memory and fight dementia

Scientists have yet to find a clear and direct cause of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, but one potential explanation is the buildup of tau—an abnormal protein—in the brain. A recent mouse study published in the journal, Aging Cell found that diets rich with extra virgin olive oil can actually decrease the presence of tau, slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. 

When tau collects into “tangles,” known as tauopathies, they interrupt communication in the brain, leading to memory loss and decreased brain functioning. 

In the study, 16 mice prone to developing tauopathies were fed diets rich in extra virgin olive oil for six months. After the six months, they were tested on memory and learning abilities. The results were compared to 15 mice eating normal diets.

The animals whose diets were supplemented with EVOO showed an improvement in several subjects, including working memory, spatial and learning memory, and communication within the hippocampus, the memory-making part of brain. All of those effects were linked to the decrease of tau in the brain.

This information supports several other studies that tout extra virgin olive oil for its disease-fighting properties. The antioxidant-rich fat is known to decrease inflammation, support cardiovascular health, and can even be used topically to prevent sun damage.

To add the anti-aging healthy oil to your life, consider the Mediterranean Diet, or simply pair with with vegetables, like garlic and tomatoes, that bring out its most potent qualities. However you drizzle (or douse), enjoy!

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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