Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infused Diets Protect Your Brain From Cognitive Decline?

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New Study Shows Link Between Mediterranean Diet And Brain Health In Old Age

Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil
Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil


  • New research in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy  has found a link between adherence to MED and MIND Diets and Reduced Cognitive Decline In Old Age.
  • Study reported by looking at Dietary Patterns of Twins Reveals Increasing Adherence to MED or MIND diet associated with improved episodic memory.
  • Age-Related Cognitive Decline can affect morbidity and mortality and be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Extra virgin olive oil has been found to aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.


New Study Explores Link Between MED and MIND Diets And Cognitive Performance.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Alzheimers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Alzheimers

The Mediterranean and MIND Diets – both including extra virgin olive oil – could help keep your brain functioning well as you age, says a new study this month.

According to a study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy  the Mediterranean and MIND diets could effectively preserve episodic and visuospatial working memory in midlife. But what does this mean and why is it good news for extra virgin olive oil lovers?

How Can The Mediterranean Diet And Olive Oil Boost Your Brain Function?

Study researchers from Rush University in Chicago reported that participants following The Mediterranean Diet recorded higher scores in cognitive function – even if they were demonstrating signs of Alzheimer’s in their brains.

The study was based on data obtained from the UK Adult Twin Registry. Baseline dietary intake was assessed to calculate scores for the MED and MIND dietary patterns. Cognitive performance of each participant was assessed at baseline and after 10 years.

As reported in more detail by,

The assessment of the impact of dietary patterns on baseline cognitive performance revealed no significant association between MED diet scores and cognitive test scores. For the MIND diet, each 1-point increase in diet score was found to be associated with faster reaction time and better visual episodic memory after adjusting for demographic, health, and lifestyle confounding factors.

The assessment of the impact of dietary patterns on cognitive performance at a 10-year follow-up revealed that increasing adherence to the MED or MIND diet is associated with improved episodic memory.

What Is Age-Related Cognitive Decline And How Can Dietary Choices Impact It

Age-related cognitive decline is a public health concern as it can affect morbidity and mortality. Although most individuals experience cognitive decline in midlife, the rate of cognitive decline can significantly vary between individuals depending on their cardiovascular health and lifestyle behaviors. A faster-than-usual rate of cognitive decline with age can be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutrient-rich dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean (MED) and the Mediterranean-dietary approaches to stop hypertension intervention for neurodegenerative delay (MIND) diets, are known to have neuroprotective and cognition-enhancing abilities. In this context, evidence indicates that the MED diet can improve cognitive functions by positively influencing the gut microbiota.

In this study, scientists have investigated the impact of MED and MIND diets on cognitive function and 10-year change in cognitive performance in cognitively healthy female twins.

Age Related Cognition And Spatial Span Length Over 10 Years In Mz Twins Discordant For Mind And Med Diet Score
Age Related Cognition And Spatial Span Length Over 10 Years In Mz Twins Discordant For Mind And Med Diet Score

Mediterranean Diet, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Dementia : An Earlier Study

People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet, known to include fish, leafy vegetables and extra virgin olive oil, increase their chances of better cognitive function later in life, according to a new study this month.

The scientific research, from Edinburgh University, has shown that consuming lower amounts of read meat and following the principles of Mediterranean cuisine correlated with higher scores in memory and thinking tests in the over 70s.

Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil and nuts.

These latest findings suggest that this primarily plant-based diet may have benefits for cognitive function as we get older.

Researchers involved in the study tested the thinking skills of more than 500 people aged 79 and without dementia. The participants completed tests of problem solving, thinking speed, memory and word knowledge, as well as a questionnaire about their eating habits during the previous year.

More than 350 of the group also underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan to gain insights into their brain structure.   The team used statistical models to look for associations between a person’s diet and their thinking skills and brain health in later life. 

The findings show that, in general, people who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had the highest cognitive function scores, even when accounting for other factors, including childhood IQ, smoking, physical activity and health factors.

Dr Janie Corley, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said:

“Eating more green leafy vegetables and cutting down on red meat might be two key food elements that contribute to the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet.”

Dr Janie Corley, University of Edinburgh

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Alzheimer’s

In 2019, researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia were reported to discover that extra virgin olive oil could aid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found out that the most common component of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil, boosts the cognitive performance and could prevent Alzheimer’s in genetically modified mice.  The Alzheimer’s disease mice models were said to have no changes in physical appearance after several months after the experiment. Yet, the mice fed with extra virgin olive oil were mentioned to perform better when they reached the age of 9 months and 12 months old.

This latest research from Edinburgh University adds further strength to the weight of evidence supporting the benefits of a Mediterranean Style Diet to many aspects of our overall health.