Are All Plant Origin Products Always the Healthiest? – Of course NOT[:]

Many people decided with the new year to make a change in their lifestyle. Many of them included in this plan to become vegetarian or vegan. It is indeed an extremely useful decision for anyone who has made it in many ways. However, a person who is just starting this diet may fall into some traps when it comes to choices.

For example, plant-based meats are often high in sodium, highly processed and no healthier than the meat they imitate. Meanwhile, almost half of consumers think they are more nutritious. So, if your decision is related to health, you may want to reconsider switching to a plant-based diet if it includes plant-based meats.

Impossible Burger, for example, is an impressive meatless mix of soy, potato, coconut and sunflower protein. It even has the appearance of a regular burger. At the same time, its calorie count and saturated fat levels are high, and it has six times more sodium.

The global market for vegetable meat is projected to skyrocket to $ 85 billion by 2030. And grocery stores are taking that into account, offering a range of burgers, sausages, nuggets, minced meat and seafood options, all with no trace of animal products.

What is the nutritional benefit?

According to a recent study, the nutritional benefits of vegetable meat are minimal. Researchers from the Singapore Institute for Food Innovation and Biotechnology modeled the result of replacing bacon, chicken, beef burgers and ice cream with non-animal versions.

Diets in which animal products were replaced by plant-based alternatives were lower than the daily recommendations for vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium and higher in sodium, sugar and saturated fat.

Even with added vitamins and minerals, these products are not nutritionally valuable, says Stephan van Vliet, a postdoctoral fellow at the Duke Institute of Molecular Physiology. “Plant meat is not cow meat and cow meat is not plant meat,” he says.

Animal sources such as meat, milk and eggs contain complete proteins, ie they contain many of the nine essential amino acids that we must receive from our diet every day. Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains, often lack one or more of these amino acids and must be eaten in combination.

Vegetable meat producers claim that their products contain similar amounts of protein that are comparable in quality to animal proteins. But the focus on protein is very “simplistic,” Van Vliet explains. “Foods contain hundreds to thousands of compounds that are capable of affecting human metabolism and health.”

The term plant-based

“People choose a vegetable burger for a variety of reasons,” says Rosie Schwartz, a Toronto-based nutrition consultant, “including reducing meat intake.” But he argues that consumers should reconsider their reasoning if the reason they choose it is health.

“Choosing something that is plant-based as a substitute because it is called plant-based really leads us in the wrong direction,” says Schwartz. According to scientists and official diet guides in many countries, plant-based nutrition is indeed the recommended way to eat. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits and the other half with whole grains and protein.

But the word “plant-based” also refers to anything from meat to paint and pillowcases, as long as they are made mostly or entirely from plants, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Just because it is made from plants does not mean that it is healthy. “I think it’s very confusing to the consumer,” says van Vliet. “It’s probably not the chicken, but everything else that comes with chicken nuggets that could be harmful to our health.”

Van Vliet and his colleagues compared 190 molecules in alternative plant-based meat products with ground beef and found that 90% of them were different. Plant-based alternative meat products lacked certain amino acids and derivatives, such as creatine, taurine and inserine, “which can all have an impact on our health and possibly on brain function as well as muscle function,” he says.

Other metabolites, such as polyphenols and antioxidants, have been found in large quantities or exclusively in meats of plant origin. He believes that foods of plant and animal origin complement each other in our diet, where some nutrients are better received from animal sources and others from plants.

The future of vegetable meats

Until now, meat companies have focused on the taste, texture and appearance of their products. These companies targeted meat eaters by creating plant miracles that were intended to look, taste and feel like real meat.

Impossible Foods, creator of Impossible Burger, says 90% of its customers are still meat eaters. It is not intended to turn salad and tempeh lovers into fake meat consumers. “The whole mission of Impossible Foods is to create plant-based products that directly compete with animal meat,” said Esther Cohn, Impossible Foods’ communications manager. “If you eat five beef burgers a week, we want you to substitute them, even if you try to exchange one for an Impossible Burger.”

With a growing market and new non-animal proteins made from cells in the laboratory or fungi in fermentation tanks, the choices are endless. Can they be adapted to be healthier? We have to wait and see.[:]

Good vs Bad Fats: How their Consumption Affects Heart Health[:]

The word “fat” has had a negative connotation and meaning for many years in our speech, but the reality is different. Our body needs healthy fats to function properly. For example, fats are needed to build cell membrane, nerves and to ensure that many vitamins, including A, D, E and K are functioning optimally.

But there are different types of fats – some are good for us and some are not. Scientific research on health risks and benefits is constantly evolving and increasing. Current data and guidelines show that we need to include healthy and fatty foods in our diet and avoid unhealthy ones.

Types of fats

Dietary fats are divided into three categories:

Unsaturated fats: These are good fats that we need to consume as much as we can as part of a diet that focuses on heart health. Here we find two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, peanut oil are foods with high concentrations of monounsaturated fats.

Fish, flaxseed, corn, soybean and sunflower seed oil contain polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids – found in some types of fish, such as salmon and herring, but also in plant products, such as nuts – are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is thought to be particularly good for our hearts.

– Saturated fats: Meat is a primary source of saturated fats, with the highest percentages being found in beef, pork and whole milk. Moderate levels are found in eggs and poultry. Some vegetable oils, such as palm oil, also contain a lot of saturated fat.

Saturated fats are essential for our body – but only in small amounts. The instructions of the experts are to make up 10% of the calories we receive during the day, preferably from lean chicken and other lean products.

– Trans fats: These are the fats we crave the most, but we should not consume. Most unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. To make them solid, industries add extra hydrogen and thus create trans fats. The highest levels of these fats are found in animal products, margarine and baked goods.

The effects of unhealthy fats on the heart

Trans fats are the worst kind of fats for the heart, blood vessels and overall health. Consumption of trans fats:

– Increases levels of bad LDL cholesterol and decreases levels of good HDL

– Increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

– Contributes to insulin resistance and is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fats. This policy has almost led to the elimination of artificial trans fats in the US food supply by 2018.

But trans fats do not disappear completely from food, as they occur naturally in small quantities in meat and dairy products, as well as in some edible oils.
Eating a meal high in saturated fat – say, a big potato salad with eggs and mayonnaise – can raise your total cholesterol and change your balance by raising your LDL or bad cholesterol.

This in turn can narrow the blood vessels and cause the arteries to become blocked. Saturated fats also cause an increase in triglycerides. High triglyceride levels increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.

The effects of saturated fats on the body have been a source of controversy in recent years, with some studies questioning how harmful saturated fats are. For example, a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Nutrition concluded: “There is insufficient evidence from epidemiological studies to conclude that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of STDs, coronary heart disease or CVD ( cardiovascular disease) ».

A study published in 2014 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that diets high in saturated fat did not increase the risk of heart disease.

But this controversial conclusion has been criticized, and American dietary guidelines still recommend limiting the amount of saturated fat consumed daily to no more than 10% of our daily calories. The American Heart Association goes even further and suggests that saturated fat should not be more than 5 to 6 percent of our daily calories.

The general guideline is that limiting saturated fats and replacing them with good fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, is what improves cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. There will always be studies on both sides of an argument, however, the current body of research shows that saturated fats are not good for human health.[:]

A Nutrition that Provides Health and Longevity[:]

The Mediterranean Diet reflects the typical eating habits of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean. It is based on the simple preparation of delicious dishes thanks to the wide range of products produced in these countries.
At the same time, its recipes can be easily adapted to the personal taste preferences of each person.
The Greek version of the Mediterranean Diet consists of products produced in Greece and have shaped the eating habits of the Greeks from antiquity until today.

For the last fifty years, a unanimous international scientific view has emerged on the world stage that the traditional diet of the Mediterranean countries is healthier than the western or abundant diets.
This unanimity is credible because it is the result of the work of researchers from all over the world and is independent of units of industrial interest or of any country.

What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and includes pasta, bread, cereals, rice and potatoes, poultry and fish, dairy products, some very little processed seasonal foods and minimal meat. But it also has two main ingredients: olive oil, which is the main source of fat, and wine.

The daily intake of dairy products is mainly in the form of cheese or yogurt.
The most common dessert is seasonal fruit.
Sweets are consumed a few times a week, while many times the place of sugar is taken by honey.

Red meat is almost forbidden and is consumed a few times a month and in small quantities, unlike the chicken and fish that are consumed every week.

Finally, wine consumption is very common (one or two glasses of wine every day).

The basic characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet are illustrated schematically with the corresponding Food Pyramid. It is a graphical representation of the various components of the diet in the form of a pyramid designed in January 1993 by a committee of academics and researchers in Massachusetts, USA.

The value of the Mediterranean diet

In the early 1960s, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a study to study the eating habits of people from 7 different countries (Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Finland, USA and Japan). It lasted 30 years and was attended by about 13,000 people aged 40-59.

The results of this study showed that people living in the Mediterranean countries and especially in Greece, had the lowest mortality rates from cancer and coronary heart disease and had the highest life expectancy, compared to residents of other countries.

Scientists trying to discover the secret, came to the conclusion that their special and natural way of life (work in the countryside, increased physical activity), but also their simple and lean diet, which became known worldwide as the Mediterranean Diet, was the cause. of this phenomenon.

Recent major research by the University of Athens School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, published a year ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that the Mediterranean diet prolongs life and protects against heart disease and cancer.

What the Mediterranean Diet is good for

The Mediterranean Diet significantly reduces the possibility of cardiovascular disease and consequently coronary heart disease, since fat comes mainly from olive oil and fish.

Researchers from New Orleans have announced that the proper diet for people who have suffered a heart attack or other heart attack is the Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of atherosclerosis because it lowers glucose, insulin and bad cholesterol.

Olive oil, a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has a beneficial effect on certain types of cancer, such as breast and prostate. A study from the University of Oxford shows that olive oil reduces the risk of colon cancer.

The positive effects of fat from olive oil and fish can be used to control body weight, provided that the total daily calorie intake is reduced.

The Mediterranean Diet protects against the decline of brain functions, memory loss and diseases associated with aging.

The Mediterranean Diet lowers blood pressure.

A recent study by the University of Dublin concluded that the Mediterranean Diet has positive effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Delicious and healthy Greek food

In Greece, each piece of land has a different microclimate, so the agricultural products produced differ from each other. But they all have something in common. They are extremely tasty.

Thus, Greece has exceptional food and beverages in terms of taste: olives, olive oil, cheeses, pastries, ouzo, wine, honey, vinegar, pasta, fruit juices, spices, fish.

These products create various exquisite foods. The Greek Mediterranean diet characterizes all regions of Greece and Greek cuisine includes mainly the combination of oil and vegetables, as a result of which it acquires the reputation of offering health and longevity.

After all, the famous heart surgeon Christian Barnard in his book “Fifty Ways for a Healthy Heart” had devoted an entire chapter to the Greek diet, which he described as healthy because it contains olive oil, wine, legumes and vegetables and said that Crete is the region with lower rate of heart disease due to a healthy diet.

Advantages of the Mediterranean diet

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, its positive effects on health and longevity, the scientific unanimity, the constant references in the world press about it and the fame it has gained around the world have increased the demand for Mediterranean products in all countries.

Studies have shown that the benefits to the human health of the Mediterranean Diet come from the Mediterranean diet as a whole, and not from an individual component. What makes the Mediterranean diet so beneficial is the combination of foods and possibly the chemical interactions of their ingredients.

These products are selected brands, healthy agricultural products, or small processed foods from Greece and can support a complete proposal of a Mediterranean diet, from a food store to its customers. Includes olive oils, olives, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, fresh and dried, legumes, chicken, tomato sauces, vegetable salads and olive and tomato delicacies, wine and honey.


Myths and Truths about Nutrition and Health[:]

Your diet and health. Nutrition plays an important role in your health, as it provides the body with the nutrients and other nutrients it needs to function properly. Keep reading to learn about your diet and health, as well as myths, truths and changes in the food pyramid.

A balanced diet is synonymous with a healthy body. Remember to always base your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats.

Malnutrition can be one of the worst enemies of your health. Unhealthy foods lack nutrients and are full of substances that can harm the body.

The statistics on malnutrition around the world are really worrying, as the pace of daily life and the financial interests of the food industry have led many people to consider junk food as a dietary option.

Pizzas, hamburgers, fried foods, hot dogs, processed meats, sweets and soft drinks, among other things, have become part of our daily eating habits and are a time bomb for your health.

Protein, diet and health

It is important to know the difference between the proteins that your body needs and those that are not good for it. Vegetable proteins and proteins in lean meats have a positive effect on the body, helping it to build muscle mass by strengthening it.

Red meat contains toxic fats, antibiotics, solvents, additives and hormones, among other chemicals, which can damage the digestive system and cause disease.

Several studies have shown that eating red meat five times a week quadruples the risk of colon cancer compared to eating it once a week.


Even though milk has long been considered essential for getting enough calcium in the body, the truth is that this has been ruled out and it is now known that we do not need to drink milk to get the right amount of calcium.

Studies have shown that milk consumption is associated with the occurrence of several health problems in the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as allergies and diabetes.

In addition it is known to contain proteins such as casein, which can affect the onset of various types of cancer.


This food is one of the most consumed in the world but also one of the most harmful to the body. Sugar is addictive and is the leading cause of diabetes, which affects nearly 300 million people worldwide and causes 5% of cancers each year.

Sugar lowers the immune system’s defenses, nourishes cancer cells, releases adrenaline and causes nervousness and depression.

The food pyramid

First the food pyramid had the sweets at the top, followed by the dairy, then the fruits and vegetables and finally the carbohydrates.

Today the food pyramid has completely changed. Carbohydrates are now at the top, followed by milk and red wines, followed by nuts, poultry, fish and seafood along with whole grains.

Fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and healthy omega 3 fats are the basis.

Everyone needs to know the type of diet they eat and the foods they consume in order to provide the body with the necessary nutrients so that it can perform its functions.

Lack or near absence of nutrients can lead to various short-term and long-term health problems that can be difficult to treat. Also keep in mind that poor diet is the leading cause of obesity, heart disease, depression and liver and kidney problems.


This is how olive oil can be your medicine[:]

The beneficial properties of olive oil and the Mediterranean diet in general, confirms new American research.

Vegetables, fruits, fish and olive oil strengthen bones, improve brain function and reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.

According to research presented at the conference of the American Heart Association, the use of olive oil in the diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 7% compared to margarine or mayonnaise.

Those who consume even more olive oil, in fact, more than seven grams or half a spoon a day, are 15% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 21% less likely to develop coronary heart disease. Olive oil, however, does not seem to reduce the risk of stroke.

“It is better to replace margarine, butter or mayonnaise with olive oil, instead of adding it along with other animal or vegetable fats to the existing diet. “The most important thing is to replace unhealthy fats with olive oil, thereby lowering cholesterol,” said Dr. Frank Hu, head of the Department of Dietetics at Harvard University School of Public Health.

The research data of Dr. Hu confirmed a 2013 study of 7,000 people who found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil for five years were 30% less likely to have a heart attack.

At the same time, according to the research, the consumption of olive oil helped to control body weight and maintain the proper functioning of the brain.

Extra virgin olive oil and not just olive oil produces the lowest percentage of saturated fat among oils in frying, according to a 2018 Australian survey.

In second place is coconut oil while canola oil, which is the most popular in the US, has been described as the most harmful to frying.

American Harvard scientists recommend the use of olive oil in salads, but also spaghetti sauces, such as Italian “pesto”, as well as for “sautéing” vegetables, frying salmon and other fish.[:]

Aloades Giants[:]



Birth of Aloades


Daughter of Triopas, at one time king of Thessaly, Ifimedia, married Aloeus, son of Poseidon and Kanakis (daughter of Aeolus) but fell madly in love with her father-in-law. Every day, she went to the sea and watered her body with her waters, the waters of the sovereign Poseidon. Who did not want much to give up. He was presented to his bride either in the form of the local river, Enipeas, or in his own. From their union, the twins Giants, Otos and Ephialtis, were born, named Aloades, after the official husband of Ifimedia.




They were strange children: Every year they grew an orgy (one meter and 829 millimeters) in height and a bar (75 centimeters in width) in width. That is why some people said that they were, in fact, children of the Earth, which Ifimedia had undertaken to raise.


Whatever it was, at nine, with nine orgies of height and nine width, they fell in love. Otos longed for Artemis and Ephialtis for Hera. To satisfy their appetites, they placed Mount Ossa on Mount Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, in order to reach the gods who found them dark: An oracle said that there was no way for the two Giants to die, unless it happened to kill each other. Already, in the battle, the Aloades managed to capture Mars and lock him in a jar. Hermes would find him, after 13 whole months.




The god Apollo captured the redemptive idea and urged his sister, Artemis, what to do. She sued Otos that she was madly in love with him and gave him an appointment in Naxos. Full of desire, he went to the appointment at a certain time but he also carried with him his twin brother, Ephialtis, who, for an unknown reason, thought that Hera would be waiting for him on the island as well. He was disappointed that he did not find her there. But Artemis was consistent. Ephialtis asked his brother to share the goddess. Otos denied it. The two brothers started arguing. Then, Artemis transformed into a deer. The two brothers grabbed their poles to chase the transformed Artemis. In the form of a deer, she went and stood among them. The brothers fired their poles at the deer. But at the same time, the deer disappeared, so the poles found the two brothers settled. They had killed each other, as the oracle predicted.


But there is another version: Thracians from Strongyli, later Zeus, finally Naxos, kidnapped the mother of the Giants, Ifimedia, and their sister, Pagratida, and took them to the island. There, they married the beautiful Pagratida to their leader, Agassamenos, whom they proclaimed king of Naxos. Aloeas sent his sons, Otos and Ephialtis, to find their mother and sister and bring them back. The Aloades Giants arrived in Naxos, defeated the Thracians, conquered the island and took power. At some point, however, they fought with each other and killed each other. Since then, the inhabitants of Naxos worshiped them as gods of the place.[:]

Which Diet Is Best for Heart Health?[:]

It seems the controversy continues. Those who advocate for low-fat diets for heart health tell us a low-carb, high fat diet is detrimental to heart health. On the surface, it makes sense that this would be true. But is it?

A recently published clinical trial conducted by a doctor and researcher well versed in heart and metabolic health came to some extremely interesting and surprising conclusions. The way this trial was conducted was that the participants were split into one of 3 groups. They followed the diets assigned to them for 20 weeks. Each of the 3 diets contained 20% protein but differing amounts of carbs and fat.

Study participants received fully prepared, customized meals that they could either eat in the cafeteria or take to go. So there was no guessing as to whether they actually consumed the assigned amounts of macronutrients.

Here is how the diets broke down:
Low-carb: 20% carbohydrate, 21% fat
Moderate-carb: 40% carbohydrate, 14% fat
High-carb: 60% carbohydrate, 7% fat

At the end of the 20 weeks, the stunning results revealed:

“A low-carbohydrate diet, high in saturated fat, improved insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia and lipoprotein(a), without adverse effect on LDL cholesterol. Carbohydrate restriction might lower CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk independently of body weight, a possibility that warrants study in major multi-centered trials powered on hard outcomes.”

So, in plain English, what the researchers found was that the people eating the low-carb, high fat diet had better improvements in triglycerides, adiponectin (a fat-derived hormone that appears to play a crucial role in protecting against insulin resistance/diabetes and atherosclerosis), blood pressure and lipoprotein(a) than those on the moderate or high carb diets. Lipoprotein(a) is a type of protein that transports cholesterol in the blood and can cause LDL cholesterol to form plaques on blood vessel walls, leading to the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels and hardening of arteries. The high saturated fat did not have any negative impact on cholesterol or cardiovascular markers.

That goes against what we have been told for years. In my opinion, it always comes down to the quality of the food and where that fat comes from. Saturated fat is not the dangerous substance we’ve long been told it is. My personal feeling is that it depends on the source of that fat and how your unique metabolic makeup responds to saturated fat.

How do you feel about considering a low-carb, high saturated fat diet?

Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. She helps coaching clients achieve vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Visit her website at to learn more about her 3-D Living coaching packages and books,Today is Still the Day and Natural Tips for Staying Healthy. Subscribe for her free weekly newsletter and blog posts.

Health is more than just the absence of illness. Let Ann show you how to create a life of passion and purpose, wholeness and harmony.

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[:gr]Το Potamia στο Κτήμα Αλωάδες[:]



Υποδεχόμαστε το εξαιρετικό παρθένο ελαιόλαδο της Eleones Messinias.

Ένα εξαιρετικό βιολογικό ελαιόλαδο που παράγεται μόνο με διαλεκτές ελιές, τις γνωστές αρχαίες μεθόδους αλλά και πολύ πάθος, ενώ προέρχεται αποκλειστικά από τον Ελαιώνα. Το λάδι μαζεύτηκε στα μέσα Νοέμβρη. Συμπιέστηκε το αργότερο μέσα σε οκτώ ώρες από τη συλλογή του. Ένας από τους λόγους που το ελαιόλαδό μας Potamia κρατάει τη φρεσκάδα και τις γεύσεις του.

Η εξαιρετικά χαμηλή  οξύτητα  σταθερά κάτω από το 0,3%  φέρνει το Ελαιώνες Μεσσηνίας Potamia, στην «ανεπίσημη» κατηγορία του ultra εξαιρετικά παρθένου ελαιολάδου που μόνο ελάχιστοι παραγωγοί μπορεί να επιτύχουν. Και αυτό,  πιστοποιημένο ως προϊόν βιολογικής γεωργίας, ήδη από το 2010. (Λάβετε υπόψη ότι το όριο για EVOO είναι 0,80%).

Συμμετέχει στην Έκθεση Premium Ελαιολάδων στο Κτήμα Αλωάδες.[:]

Extra Virgin Olive Oil May Protect Against Various Dementias[:]

New research in mice suggests that adopting a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can prevent the toxic accumulation of the protein tau, which is a hallmark of multiple types of dementia.

Due to its monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good” fats, extra virgin olive oil is known for its ability to lower the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Recently, however, several studies have suggested that extra virgin olive oil also has neuroprotective and cognitive benefits.

For instance, a 2012 study in mice found that the oil improves rodents’ learning and performance in memory tests.

The presumed reason for these findings is that extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidant compounds that may reverse disease- or aging-related learning and memory impairment.

A couple of years ago, a study that Medical News Today reported on found that extra virgin olive oil reduced early neurological signs of Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

The extra virgin olive oil intervention improved autophagy — that is, brain cells’ ability to eliminate toxic waste — and helped maintain the integrity of the rodents’ synapses, which are the connections between neurons.

Dr. Domenico Praticò — a professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA — spearheaded that research.

He has recently led a new team in a study of the neurological benefits of extra virgin olive oil. As part of this study, the researchers looked at the oil’s effect on “tauopathies.” These are age-related cognitive conditions wherein the protein tau accumulates to toxic levels in the brain, triggering various forms of dementia.


Studying The Tau Protein In Mice

The researchers used a mouse model of tauopathy. They genetically tweaked the rodents so that they were prone to accumulate excessive amounts of the otherwise normal protein tau.

In Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, such as frontotemporal dementia, the tau protein accumulates inside neurons in the form of toxic “tangles.”

By contrast, in a healthy brain, normal levels of tau help stabilize the microtubules, which are supportive structures for neurons.

In tauopathies, the buildup of tangles inside neurons stops the nerve cells from receiving nutrients and communicating with other neurons. This eventually leads to their death.

In this study, the mice prone to accumulations of tau consumed a diet high in extra virgin olive oil from the age of 6 months. According to some estimates, this is the equivalent of around 30 years of human age.

Control mice were also prone to tau accumulations but consumed a regular diet.


Olive Oil Means 60% Less Tau, Better Memory

Around a year later — which would equate to around 60 years of human age — the experiments revealed that the tauopathy-prone rodents had 60% fewer tau deposits than the control rodents, which had not received an extra virgin olive oil-enriched diet.

Mice that had received extra virgin olive oil also performed better in standard maze and novel object recognition memory tests.

Furthermore, brain tissue sample analyses revealed that the mice who consumed the extra virgin olive oil had better synapse function than the control mice, as well as better neuroplasticity.

The analyses also revealed an increase in a protein called complexin 1. This is a “presynaptic” protein key for maintaining healthy synapses.

“Our findings demonstrate that [extra virgin olive oil] directly improves synaptic activity, short‐term plasticity, and memory while decreasing tau neuropathology in the [tau-prone] mice,” conclude Dr. Praticò and team, adding:

These results strengthen the [healthful] benefits of [extra virgin olive oil] and further support the therapeutic potential of this natural product not only for [Alzheimer’s disease] but also for primary tauopathies.”


Olive Oil Protects Against Various Dementias

“[Extra virgin olive oil] has been a part of the human diet for a very long time and has many benefits for health, for reasons that we do not yet fully understand,” explains Dr. Praticò.

“The realization that [extra virgin olive oil] can protect the brain against different forms of dementia gives us an opportunity to learn more about the mechanisms through which it acts to support brain health,” he says, highlighting some directions for future research.

“We are particularly interested in knowing whether [extra virgin olive oil] can reverse tau damage and ultimately treat tauopathy in older mice,” concludes Dr. Praticò.

Written by: Ana Sandoiu