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Extra-virgin Olive Oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3 X Tg mice: role of autophagy

Extra-virgin Olive Oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3 X Tg mice: role of autophagy

Elizabeth Lauretti, Luigi Iuliano, Domenice Pratico
Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 2017: 4(8); 564-574


This is a very interesting article that has focused on the consumption of extra virgin olive oil in mice harbouring 3 transgenes (PSI m146v, Tau p301L,AppSwe). The use of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a major component of the Mediterranean Diet and has been reported to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. (AD). How EVOO, reduces the incidence of either the transition of a person to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD, has yet to be fully understood. This study investigated the effects of consumption of EVOO to a control group of mice that did not consume EVOO and compared the AD like neuropathology and behavioural changes.


AD is a reversible condition that is associated with ageing and is generally associated with cognitive decline, progressive memory loss. AD is considered a major form of dementia that in 2015, there was 44 million cases worldwide resulting in a medical cost burden of over 600 billion dollars (US). As in Australia the rest of the world is experiencing and older population transition and as such the cost burden will be virtually impossible to manage without major intervention.


This studies demonstrated that the mice fed EVOO rich diet had a significant improvement in their behaviour and also a significant increase in their steady state levels of synaptophysin which is a protein marker for synaptic integrity.


These findings suggests that EVOO consumption is beneficial on the features of the AD phenotype and that autophagy* activation is potentially the mechanism for these biological actions.

The full article can be accessed here.

* Autophagy allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components.