Temple Study Shows Canola Oil May Be Harmful To Brain

Modesto Morganelli
Dicembre 8, 2017

Canola is generally considered a healthy oil thanks to its ability to reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood and lower the risk of heart disease.

A Temple University study finds that canola oil may be linked to worsened memory and learning abilities in Alzheimer's disease and could be more harmful to the brain.

Senior study investigator Dr. Domenico Praticò, of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, told Medical News Today that numerous supposed benefits of canola oil rely on unsubstantiated proof.

"Very few studies, however, have examined that claim, especially in terms of the brain", said Pratico.

Together with Elisabetta Lauretti, a graduate student in Dr. Pratico's lab and co-author of the study, they focused on memory impairment and the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. At six months of age, when the mice still had no symptoms, they were split into two groups.

One group was fed a normal diet, while the other was fed a diet supplemented with the equivalent of about two tablespoons of canola oil daily.

When the animals were assessed at a year old, the team noticed one stark difference: mice who consumed canola oil were heavier than their control counterparts.

The decline in cognitive function in the group of mice fed the oil-rich diet also corresponded to chemical changes in the brain.

Do you use canola oil in your cooking?

The mice completed a maze test on their first birthday to test their learning and memory skills. But amyloid beta 1-40 actually helps prevent those clumps from forming by buffering amyloid beta 1-42, an insoluble form of the protein, so a reduction isn't a good thing.

"Based on the evidence from this study, canola oil should not be thought of as being equivalent to oils with proven health benefits".

Researchers had previously used the same mouse model in an investigation of olive oil, and found that Alzheimer mice fed a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil had reduced levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau and experienced memory improvement.

Canola oil has less saturated fat than other choices, but new research says it might not be as healthy as we think.

The next step for the researchers is to conduct studies over a shorter period of time to see just how quickly Alzheimer's-disease-affected brains begin showing the damage.

"We also want to know whether the negative effects of canola oil are specific for Alzheimer's disease", Dr. Praticò concluded.

In the study, Dr. Praticò and his team investigated the effect of canola oil on brain health. "There is a chance that the consumption of canola oil could also affect the onset and course of other neurodegenerative diseases or other forms of dementia".

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