There are few diseases that scare people more than cancer and Alzheimer's disease. With cancer, people fear the treatment and the pain. With Alzheimer's, they fear losing their mind, their memories, and their relationships. Fortunately, researchers have discovered a polyphenol from a surprising source that can help prevent both.
As you may know, polyphenols are chemicals that provide enormous health benefits. Most of the time, we hear about these chemicals coming from plants, such as fruits and vegetables. But this polyphenol comes from a fat. And this new research suggests it has powerful anti-cancer abilities and can even prevent Alzheimer's.
The polyphenol is oleocanthal. This is one of the principle compounds in olive oil. We've known for some time that olive oil is great for your heart. Most people have attributed olive oil's heart protection to the monounsaturated fat. But in 2005, researchers found that oleocanthal actually provides significant anti-inflammatory properties. As I've shown you in recent weeks, the primary cause of heart disease is inflammation. And inflammation is a major player in cancer as well. So the power of oleocanthal isn't something we should overlook. It could be the reason those countries that use a lot of olive oil have lower rates of heart disease and cancer.
Now a study suggests oleocanthal can protect your brain. A team of scientists from the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe made the discovery. These researchers found that oleocanthal helps shuttle beta-amyloid proteins out of the brain. As you may know, beta-amyloid is the plaque that builds up in your brain and destroys your brain's nerve cells.
To test oleocanthal, the researchers tracked the impact of oleocanthal in the brains and cultured brain cells of laboratory mice. They found that in every case, the oleocanthal boosted the production of two proteins and key enzymes that escort beta-amyloid out of the brain.
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Right now, you won't find this powerful nutrient in any supplement or food other than extra-virgin olive oil. So you might want to add a little to your salad every day. It could protect your heart and brain - and help you avoid cancer. A tablespoon or two every day is plenty.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.