Article courtesy of Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the world’s top cardiologists, a best-selling author, lecturer, and a leading expert in plant-based nutrition and holistic care.

The loss of memory begins as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and can lead to early Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and causes great fear and disability in many people. Strategies to halt and even reverse these developments are needed. Food-based support of brain function has been shown with the MIND diet.


Both MCI and early AD are characterized by blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown leading to abnormal BBB permeability ahead of brain atrophy or dementia.

Previous findings in AD mouse models have reported the beneficial effect of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) against AD, which improved BBB and memory functions and reduced brain amyloid-β (Aβ) and related pathology.

Are the same findings true in humans with MCI and early AD?


The effect of daily consumption of Extra virgin olive oil for 6 months in MCI subjects on BBB permeability (assessed by contrast-enhanced MRI) and brain function (assessed using functional MRI) as the primary outcomes was assessed. Cognitive function and AD blood biomarkers were also assessed as the secondary outcomes.

Twenty-six participants with MCI were randomized with 25 participants completing the study. The amount of olive oil was 30 ml (one ounce) a day.

EVOO significantly improved clinical dementia rating (CDR) and behavioral scores. EVOO also reduced BBB permeability and enhanced functional connectivity. Moreover, EVOO significantly reduced blood Aβ42/Aβ40 and p-tau/t-tau ratios, suggesting that both altered the processing and clearance of Aβ.


Extra virgin olive oil improved dementia rating and behavioral scores as well as enhancing brain connectivity and reduced BBB permeability, suggesting EVOO biophenols contributed to such an effect.

This proof-of-concept study justifies further clinical trials to assess olive oil’s protective effects against AD and its potential role in preventing MCI conversion to AD and related dementias.

This small study follows several very large reports of the health advantages of EVOO in patients with coronary artery disease previously discussed here.

About the author: At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant-based vegan diet that he truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics, and nutrition-based recovery protocols.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.


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