02 May

Olive Extract Protects Against Neurodegenerative Disorders

An extract derived from olives may provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.”

Researchers examined the effect of an antioxidant chemical known as hydroxytyrosol, which has previously been shown to be connected to the health benefits of olive oil, such as LDL (“bad”) cholesterol reduction and cancer prevention.

In one test, the researchers added oxidative stressors to the brain cells of mice in a laboratory setting. These stressors, such as iron ions and a nitric oxide donor, are damaging to cells because of their oxidizing effects. For some of the cells, researchers also added an olive extract rich in hydroxytyrosol. Among the cells to which only the stressors were added, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was reduced by 40 percent. In the cells treated with olive extract, ATP was only reduced by 15 percent. This effect was achieved at hydroxytyrosol concentrations as low as 0.01 milligrams per milliliter.

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