This Greek olive oil may reduce cognitive impairment in older people

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In a new study, researchers tested for the first time the effect of High Phenolic Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil (HP-EH-EVOO) versus Moderate Phenolic (MP-EVOO) and Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) as a treatment for older adults with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI).

The research was conducted by a team at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and elsewhere.

Amnestic MCI is usually a prodromal condition of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and is characterized by memory loss and inability to execute very complex activities of daily living.

While there is no treatment for MCI and symptomatic-only treatment for AD, the global effort against cognitive disorders is focused on early detection and management of AD at the stage of aMCI.

Recent literature paves the way to test natural compounds as alternative treatments of MCI due to AD.

The MeDi is not a single prescribed diet, but rather a general food-based eating pattern, which is characterized by local and cultural differences throughout the Mediterranean region.

Recent studies have found that more adherence to MeDi improved cognitive functions, decreased the possibility to develop MCI, and lessened the risk of MCI progression to AD.

A Spanish study showed that EVOO keeps the cognitive function better than nuts.

A recent study suggests that the intake of EVOO might offer a protective effect and/or slow AD pathology in transgenic mice.

The results of this study suggest that the long-term consumption of an EVOO-containing diet starting at an early age provides a protective effect against AD and its related disorder cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), while a long-term intervention with an EVOO-rich MedDiet in 285 participants with high vascular risk resulted in better cognitive functioning when compared to a control diet.

In the study, the researchers succeeded in making the shift to MCI therapy via robust natural remedies that can be used in order to forestall cognitive deterioration.

They examined the HP-EH-EVOO and MP-EVOO versus MeDi. Moreover, genetic predisposition (APOE ε4) to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) was tested at baseline and after 12 months.

The team found better follow-up performance in people who consumed HP-EH-EVOO had better performance in almost all cognitive domains.

Moreover, people who consumed MP-EVOO showed also a big improvement compared to people who consumed MeDi.

People who consumed MeDi exhibited worse or similar to baseline performance in almost all domains.

Therefore, the findings showed that long-term intervention with HP-EH-EVOO or MP-EVOO was linked to a big improvement in cognitive function compared to MeDi, independent of the presence of APOE ε4.

This is the first study that examined in such a detailed manner the effects of Greek EVOO in elders with MCI as an effective solution for cognitive impairment.

The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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