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Olive oil could be good for your brain functions as you get older, I’ve just learned. A new study suggests consuming olive oil could slow the impact aging has on our ability to speak and retrieve visual memories.

The findings represent the latest research suggesting olive oil contains compounds that could combat the effects of aging. I recently wrote about a study suggesting that a naturally occurring compound in extra virgin olive oil, called oleocanthal, could help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Thanks to a Twitteralert we learned about a new scientific study analyzing the impact of olive oil on high-level brain functions such as speaking and memory in elderly people.

The study followed 6,947 French people over age 65. They were put in three groups:

  • Those who never used olive oil
  • Those who consumed moderate amounts by using olive oil in cooking or as a dressing for food such as salad
  • And those who consumed “intensive” amounts because they used it to cook and dress food

“Participants with moderate or intensive use of olive oil compared to those who never used olive oil showed lower odds” of a decline in their ability to speak (“verbal fluency”) as well as their ability to retrieve past images they’ve seen (“visual memory”).

A follow-up four years later suggests olive oil had a "significant" impact in slowing down the loss of the brain's ability to recall images, according to the study, which published in the journal Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.

The researchers noted that prior to their study little was known about the impact olive oil might have on our cognitive functions.

The researchers acknowledged more research is needed to confirm their findings. But they added “our results highlight the importance of olive oil in the Mediterranean diet and in its beneficial effects on health outcome.”

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