Extra-virgin olive oil protects nerve cell structure and function, improves learning and memory, and reduces the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain in mice genetically engineered to get Alzheimer’s disease. The polyphenols in olive oil activate autophagy, which leads to the clearance of plaques and tangles in the brain.
Last week, I interviewed an expert on autophagy and we discussed how one of the most important functions of it is to clear away protein aggregates. We also discussed some of the mechanisms by which various polyphenols a (such as those found in olive oil) can induce autophagy through an epigenetic mechanism. Stay tuned for that podcast (post-production edits are being made to the video now!