New research suggests that oleocanthal found in olive oil may possess the ability to help the body rid itself of amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s Disease (the brain-degenerative disease). Amyloid plaques are thought to build up over time and cause irrevocable damage. A research team from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, led by Amal Kaddoumi, gave groups of mice oleocanthal from olive oil and found a consistent pattern of producing two proteins and key enzymes that are believed to be critical in the removal amyloid plaques, thereby preventing Alzheimer’s from occurring in the first place.
The team stated: “We provide in vitro and in vivo evidence for the potential of oleocanthal to enhance beta-amyloid clearance from the brain via up-regulation of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and LDL lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP1), major beta-amyloid transport proteins, at the blood-brain barrier.”
While traditionally noted for its high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats, this research suggests that oleocanthal may be the actual protective agent. Researchers noted the results with certainty: “Our results demonstrated significant increase in beta-amyloid degradation as a result of the up-regulation of AB degrading enzymes following oleocanthal treatment,” they said.
Abuznait, et al. (2013). Olive-Oil Derived Oleocanthal Enhances B-Amyloid Clearance as a Potential Neuroprotective Mechanism Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Chemical Neuroscience.