Growing A Big Healthy Brain During Quarantine-Part IV

Growing A Big Healthy Brain During Quarantine-Part IV

If you’re like us, you are cooking more. And maybe you are eating more too. My pantry is very convenient, and I find myself buying a lot of stuff at the grocery that, well, let’s say, isn't necessarily the wisest food choice.

You are undoubtedly making wiser choices. The scientific research that we’ve found may help even further.

Take Two Tablespoons And Call Me In The Morning

A research team from the Center for Translational Medicine at Temple University and the Department of Medical Sciences and Biotechnology at Sapienza University of Roma in Latina Italy have been looking into Extra Virgin Olive Oil and its potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Domenico Pratico, MD and Professor of Pharmacology, Immunology and Microbiology, Elisabetta Lauretti, PhD candidate at the Temple Medical School, and Luigi Iuliano, MD, and Professor of Surgical Sciences and Biotechnology at Sapienza performed the research.

The research involved specialized mice. The control group of mice were fed their regular chow, while, beginning at six months, the test group had chow supplemented with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). After six months, the EVOO mice had an increase in synaptophysin, a protein marker of synaptic health. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, those mice had improved autophagy.

From an interview with Dr. Pratico:

“Autophagy is a mechanism by which the nerve cells protect themselves from the presence of and possible accumulation of toxic proteins and unwanted material (ie, cell garbage). Autophagy actually works like the garbage disposal in a sink. In Alzheimer disease, it is known that the activity and function of this system are reduced; as a result, the nerve cells in the patient’s brain have a progressive accumulation of amyloid proteins and tau tangles.

The group of animals receiving EVOO had a significant increase in the autophagy system, which explains the reduced amount of amyloid plaques and tau phosphorylated/tangles. The results are remarkable because for the first time we discovered a natural product-EVOO-is able to do something that in the past only chemicals (some of which are very toxic) cold do: activate autophagy."

And from another interview:

“We’ve known for 50 or 60 years that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for health, but olive oil is emerging as the most important ingredient.”

Research, of course, continues, and findings change. Note in particular this research was performed on mice- us pesky humans are harder to control, much less euthanize and subsequently examine our brains for tau. What works in animal testing doesn’t always work on us. But for now, it looks like cooking with olive oil, and snacking on olives are healthy ideas. Dr. Practico is generally in favor of daily consumption of a couple of spoonsful.

Link to the research here.

More Brain-Building Ideas

I founded Big Brain Place because I saw how fast science is discovering the secrets to brain health, and realized how little I knew about it. Clearly I couldn't be the only one not familiar with the possible actions that can optimize brain health.  At BigBrain.Place we are on a mission to help everyone, at any age, improve cognition, reduce the risk of dementia, insure our children have the opportunity to develop maximum brain capacity, and, in general, make our brainspans match our lifespans.

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