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J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;28(1):81-92. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110662.

Extra virgin olive oil improves learning and memory in SAMP8 mice.

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  • 1Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center, VA Medical Center, St. Louis, MO 63106, USA. farrsa@slu.edu

Abstract

Polyphenols are potent antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO); antioxidants have been shown to reverse age- and disease-related learning and memory deficits. We examined the effects of EVOO on learning and memory in SAMP8 mice, an age-related learning/memory impairment model associated with increased amyloid-β protein and brain oxidative damage. We administered EVOO, coconut oil, or butter to 11 month old SAMP8 mice for 6 weeks. Mice were tested in T-maze foot shock avoidance and one-trial novel object recognition with a 24 h delay. Mice which received EVOO had improved acquisition in the T-maze and spent more time with the novel object in one-trial novel object recognition versus mice which received coconut oil or butter. Mice that received EVOO had improve T-maze retention compared to the mice that received butter. EVOO increased brain glutathione levels suggesting reduced oxidative stress as a possible mechanism. These effects plus increased glutathione reductase activity, superoxide dismutase activity, and decreased tissue levels of 4-hydroxynoneal and 3-nitrotyrosine were enhanced with enriched EVOO (3 × and 5 × polyphenols concentration). Our findings suggest that EVOO has beneficial effects on learning and memory deficits found in aging and diseases, such as those related to the overproduction of amyloid-β protein, by reversing oxidative damage in the brain, effects that are augmented with increasing concentrations of polyphenols in EVOO.

PMID:
21955812
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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