Explores how a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can delay the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. The protective power of polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil.
Updated January 30th 2023
- Studies have shown that taking extra virgin olive oil, an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet, dramatically reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.
- Researchers cited Oleuropein found in Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil as having cytoprotective properties for brain cells, which prevents compounds associated with Parkinson’s disease from damaging them.
- A Mediterranean diet, including extra virgin olive oil is generally acknowledged to be one of the healthiest diets anyone can follow.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Parkinson’s Disease
- ‘Significantly Later Onset’ Following Mediterranean Diet With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- What Is Polyphenol Oleuropein Aglycone (OA) In Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
- The Effect Of Polyphenol Oleuropein Aglycone On Amyloidosis
- So Just How Easy Is It To Change To A Mediterranean Diet With Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Parkinson’s Disease
The Mediterranean diet is known for its health benefits, but the extra virgin olive oil used in the diet may offer even more positive health effects. Extra virgin olive oil, an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet, dramatically reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating neurological disorder.
Studies show that consuming extra virgin olive oil regularly decreases the likelihood of this disease by 50 to 70%, due primarily to its high polyphenol content, powerful antioxidants which protect against neurodegeneration. This kind of ‘wellness cuisine’ can not only come with extra health benefits but also improve your eating habits and lifestyle as a whole.
When extra virgin olive oil and other key elements of the Mediterranean diet are included in a balanced meal plan, it creates an enjoyable and nutritious means of creating optimal long-term health.
When adopting a healthy Mediterranean diet which includes extra virgin olive oil, one simultaneously maintains wellness of body and mind through the protective power of polyphenols. Not only will quality extra virgin olive oil improve your overall nutrition quality, it could potentially help protect against the development of Parkinson’s disease down the line by reducing unhealthy inflammation within the body associated with this disorder.
New research has linked adherence to a Mediterranean and MIND Diet to later onset of Parkinson’s Disease, according to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
The study concluded that a strong correlation was found between the age of onset of Parkinson’s Disease and dietary habits, suggesting that nutritional strategies, including high quality extra virgin olive oil, may be an effective tool to delay PD onset by up to 17.4 years for women and 8.4 years for men.
‘Significantly Later Onset’ Following Mediterranean Diet With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Speaking in the Olive Oil Times, Silke Appel-Cresswell, neurologist, UBC Faculty of Medicine said: “The study shows individuals with Parkinson’s disease have a significantly later age of onset if their eating pattern closely aligns with the Mediterranean-type diet.”
The research was conducted by the University of British Columbia (UBC) and compared two diets: the Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diets.
Both of these diets include extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, seafood, peas, beans, lentils and wine in moderation. A major factor identified in helping to combat the disease is the presence of antioxidant polyphenols.
This year’s harvest of Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a low acidity of 0.2% and the highest ever levels of polyphenols seen in our high-quality oil to date.
Researchers also cited Oleuropein – found in extra virgin olive oil – as having cytoprotective properties for brain cells, which prevents compounds associated with Parkinson’s disease from damaging them.
The UBC study included 225 participants with Parkinson’s disease and 156 control participants. The Mediterranean diet had a more positive correlation with men and the MIND diet with women in the group.
Parkinson’s disease is known to affect around 1 million people in the USA, with around 60,000 diagnosed with the disease every year.
Silke Appel-Cresswell continued: “There is a lack of medications to prevent or delay Parkinson’s disease yet we are optimistic that this new evidence suggests nutrition could potentially delay onset of the disease,”
What Is Polyphenol Oleuropein Aglycone (OA) In Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Oleuropein aglycone is a glycosylated seco-iridoid, a type of bitter phenolic compound found in green olive skin, flesh, seeds, and leaves. The term oleuropein is derived from the botanical name of the olive tree, Olea Europaea. The chemical formula is :C25H32O13.
Oleuropein aglycone is one of the chief polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil. It is getting more and more global attention within the scientific and medical communities due to its biological properties including in anti-Alzheimer’s disease, anti-breast cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic effect, and anti-oxidative properties.
OA is derived from the de-glycosylation of oleuropein that exists in the leaves and stones of the olive fruit during the maturation period and is obtained during the pressing of the olives.
The Effect Of Polyphenol Oleuropein Aglycone On Amyloidosis
Amyloidosis is the name for a group of rare but serious condition caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body. The build-up of amyloid protein deposits can make it difficult for the organs and tissues to work properly.
It had been reported that the aglycone form of oleuropein interferes with the build-up of a number of proteins associated with amyloidosis, particularly affecting neuro-degenerative diseases, preventing the growth of toxic oligomers (polymers with relatively few repeating units) and displaying protection against cognitive deterioration.
Or in simple terms, OA provides a protective barrier between health organ cells and harmful amyloid cells.
This confirms the polyphenol OA as a promising plant molecule useful against amyloid diseases.
So Just How Easy Is It To Change To A Mediterranean Diet With Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
A Mediterranean diet is generally acknowledged to be one of the healthiest diets anyone can follow – and it’s a relatively easy one to switch to as you won’t be cutting out any food, you don’t need to have any in-depth knowledge of nutrition and you’ll get to try out lots of delicious new ingredients all at the same time.
All you really need to remember as an excellent rule of thumb is to eat less red meat and fewer sweets, introducing more wholegrains, legumes, fruit, nuts, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and seafood into your diet instead. That’s it!
You can still eat dairy, poultry and eggs, but try to keep these to a moderate amount and try to follow more plant-based meal plans each week if you can.
Extra virgin olive oil will form the main source of added fat in this kind of diet, providing you with monounsaturated fat, which has been proven to lower cholesterol. Nuts and seeds also contain strong levels of monounsaturated fat, so make sure you stock up on these as well.
To help get you started, aim for between seven and ten servings a day of fruit and veg. This sounds like a lot but you’ll soon get into the swing of it – and don’t forget that 150ml of pure unsweetened fruit juice counts as one of your five a day, as well.
Don’t give up bread, cereal and pasta – simply switch to wholegrain versions and look into the likes of bulgur wheat as an alternative to pasta and rice. And get to know your herbs and spices well, as you’ll be using these a lot to bring delicious flavours to your food.
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