Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy (Lauretti et al., 2017)
I think the whole point of this study was to show-off their swanky EVOO.
“The EVOO was from the olive growing area of Apulia region (Torremaggiore, Foggia, Italy). Olive fruits from the cultivar “Peranzana” were processed immediately after harvesting and EVOO obtained by crushing the olives under mechanical cold pressure to preserve all the nutritional components, and meet the stringent criteria of the premium quality level (free acid content < 0.3 g%, peroxide value < 7 mEq/Kg, K232 < 1.85).”
Which may or may not be from this company.
Peranzana: it’s a single varietal olive oil, meaning it’s made from only one type of olive – similar to buying varietal wines, eg, malbec – it specifies the grape, but not the location, producer, wine’s name, etc., etc. You can actually get a Peranzana EVOO or olives online.
The cold-pressing is a big contributor to the low free acid levels. And it’s not “acid,” like low pH; it’s free fatty acids. Gotta be less than 0.8 for that EVOO label (I think). Also, many OO producers like to get every last drop of oil from their olives so they resort to chemical extraction. This is also a no-no for EVOO.
Anyway, the study wasn’t bad but I don’t think the diets were well-controlled: the descriptions are vague, but it sounds like they just mixed together EVOO & standard chow. This is bad because rodents eat for calories, not nutrients. If the diets aren’t matched in “nutrients per calorie,” then the animals eating a higher fat diet will be getting fewer of the other nutrients. If that happened in this particular case, well then, interestingly, we’d have to reevaluate “Nutrients” because the animals receiving a Substandard Diet did better.
The EVOO group gained slightly more weight and did a little better on some of the cognitive & behavioral tests than the controls:
I’m waiting to hear back from the researchers about the diet preparation; will update if they get back to me.
UPDATE: Yes, that is how the diets were prepared. Confounded.