Olive oil

Olive oil’s already known for its heart health benefits, and now, new research finds several more reasons for making it part of a healthy diet. Two recently released separate studies link olive oil consumption to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and the ability to maintain a healthy weight.

Research out of the University of Louisiana has discovered a link between high olive oil consumption and lower risk of the degenerative disease, Alzheimer’s. The study’s findings were published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience and looked at Mediterranean countries where olive oil consumption is inherently high.

According to the research, oleocanthal, a compound found in extra-virgin olive oil that has already shown the ability to protect nerve cells from damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, was tested to see if it could also decrease the levels of amyloid beta, which has been linked with the disease.

Using mice subjects, the researchers found the oleocanthal did increase proteins and enzymes that helped prevent amyloid beta from accumulating in the brain.

Another olive study from the Universities of Vienna and Monaco of Bavaria have also found that consuming specific amounts of olive oil could also decrease feelings of hunger, helping people to feel full longer.

The study subjects were consistently more satisfied when olive oil was consumed than the control group. It also increased their seratonin levels, which also aid in feeling full. The culprit may not be in the calories or flavor of olive oil, but in its aroma, which contains a substance called hexenal.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: toolmantim