The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a controversial drug that may slow cognitive decline in patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Uncertainty about the drug’s efficacy and cost and concern about the possibility of serious side effects led three FDA advisory committee members to resign. Could extra virgin olive oil do better in preventing Alzheimer’s?
In the Mediterranean region, olive oil has been consumed safely and hailed for its health benefits for millennia. In recent years, researchers have been exploring olive oil’s potential to help prevent and treat various illnesses. Now concluding, the six-year MICOIL study was the first in the world to test extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a clinical trial in humans with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is the decline in thinking skills characteristic of an early stage of Alzheimer’s, before the more severe symptoms associated with the disease appear.
The FDA-approved drug aducanumab, which must be administered intravenously, was also used to treat patients with MCI in clinical trials. Lacking any cure for Alzheimer’s, scientists have been striving to discover new ways to manage the MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease and prevent it from progressing. Now seven scientific publications related to the MICOIL study provide several different types of evidence that extra virgin olive oil can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in humans, without any negative side effects.