December 01 2020

Delays the onset of cognitive diseases thanks to olive oil

Are you familiar with the MIND diet? MIND is an acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Developed by American scientists in 2015, the MIND diet aims to support the human body’s most important organ: our brain. Its goal is to fight dementia and the decline in brain health associated with aging, while also promoting overall health. It is a hybrid diet, inspired by both the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, that promotes the consumption of 10 brain-healthy foods: leafy greens and other vegetables, berries, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish, poultry, wine in moderation and quality olive oil. Again, olive oil ranks above other vegetable oils in this diet that shows promising results. Adhering to the MIND diet, even only partially, could lower by 35 to 53% the risk of losing cognitive function and developing Alzheimer’s disease.[1],[2],[3],[4] These benefits are believed to result from the synergy between the foods promoted by the diet, reducing inflammation and protecting the brain’s white matter to preserve healthy cognitive functions.

When it comes to the Mediterranean diet, it has been noted that a greater compliance with dietary recommendations leads to a greater reduction of the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.[5] Although the neuroprotective effect of the phenolic compounds in olives (oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, verbascosides, oleocanthal) is well documented,[6],[7],[8],[9] further studies are needed to shed light on the evident connection between olive oil and cognitive benefits.

[1] MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease - Martha Clare Morris et al. - Alzheimer’s & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association September 2015. Volume 11, Issue 9, Pages 1007–1014.

[4] Diane E. Hosking et al. MIND not Mediterranean diet related to 12-year incidence of cognitive impairment in an Australian longitudinal cohort study, Alzheimer's & Dementia (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.12.011

[5] Mediterranean and MIND Diets Containing Olive Biophenols Reduces the Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease (2019)

Omar, Syed Haris. « Mediterranean and MIND Diets Containing Olive Biophenols Reduces the Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease. » International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 7 Juin 2019,

[6] Omar S.H., Scott C.J., Hamlin A.S., Obied H.K. Olive biophenols reduces alzheimer’s pathology in sh-sy5y cells and appswe mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018;20:125. doi: 10.3390/ijms20010125. 

[7]  Omar S.H. Oleuropein in olive and its pharmacological effects. Sci. Pharm. 2010;78:133–154. doi: 10.3797/scipharm.0912-18

[8] Omar S.H. Chapter 4—Biophenols: Impacts and prospects in anti-alzheimer drug discovery. In: Brahmachari G., editor. Discovery and Development of Neuroprotective Agents from Natural Products. Elsevier; Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 2018. pp. 103–148.

[9] Abuznait A.H., Qosa H., Busnena B.A., El Sayed K.A., Kaddoumi A. Olive-oil-derived oleocanthal enhances beta-amyloid clearance as a potential neuroprotective mechanism against alzheimer’s disease: In vitro and in vivo studies. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2013;4:973–982. doi: 10.1021/cn400024q.