Latest HEALTH BENEFIT research into Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Written by Carwyn Walters
Written by Carwyn Walters
New research has identified chemical compounds in extra virgin olive oil that could help to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, using network machine learning algorithms. In the study published in Human Genomics, the international research team identified ten phytochemicals that appear to act similarly to known pharmaceutical agents against plaque build-up in the brain. The abnormal build-up of protein in and around the brain is one of the main characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. Separate research predicts the rates of dementia will triple by 2050 due to the rising number of older people and diet and lifestyle choices that accelerate the disease. The researchers from Yale School of Public Health, Imperial College London and the University of Athens said these compounds could be the subjects of future clinical studies. “Our study, which integrates artificial intelligence, analytical chemistry, and omics studies into a unique framework, provides fresh perspectives on how extra virgin olive oil might contribute to the prevention and or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Vasilis Vasiliou, the chair of Yale School of Public Health’s environmental health sciences department. In the study, the researchers initially identified 67 bioactive chemicals in extra virgin olive oil that could potentially slow the causes and mitigate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Using the machine learning algorithm, they simulated how the compounds might disrupt the accumulation of plaque associated with the disease. Stay connected. Get the OOT weekly newsletter. Researchers said the study was unique because it uses a machine learning tool tailored to process network structures common in biological data. Of the ten phytochemicals identified in the study – quercetin, genistein, luteolin, palmitoleate, stearic acid, apigenin, epicatechin, kaempferol, squalene and daidzein – researchers determined that quercetin had the highest likelihood of acting similarly to current medications against Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research showed that quercitin might inhibit the buildup of amyloid beta, the protein most associated with the disease. Separate studies have also found that quercitin may mitigate the impacts of oxidative stress, which plays a significant role in the progression of neurodegenerative illnesses. While the researchers believe these findings are highly relevant to highlighting the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, they acknowledged the study’s limitations. The researchers said the algorithm only identified extra virgin olive oil chemical compounds that appear to impact the development of proteins but could not gauge their effectiveness. Furthermore, the algorithm was trained only using approved Alzheimer’s medication in the United States, meaning other potentially effective chemicals in extra virgin olive oil may not be identified. “It is only through the conduct of such studies that the predictive utility of our machine learning approach will be validated,” the authors wrote. “While the results of the present study shed light on how extra virgin olive oil may help treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the same approach may be applied to identify extra virgin olive oil phytochemicals (or other food constituents) that treat other diseases, such as dementia, hypertension or dyslipidemia,” they concluded.
Chemical Compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Linked to Alzheimer's Prevention: A Machine Learning Perspective
Recent discoveries point towards the potential of specific chemical compounds in extra virgin olive oil in the battle against Alzheimer’s, the predominant form of dementia, with the use of sophisticated network machine learning techniques.
Published in Human Genomics, this global study pinpointed ten phytochemicals that seem to operate in ways comparable to known drugs targeting the accumulation of brain plaque.
One of Alzheimer's hallmark symptoms is the unusual accumulation of proteins around the brain. Forecasts from other researches indicate a concerning tripling of dementia rates by 2050, attributed to increasing elderly populations and certain dietary and lifestyle habits that exacerbate the condition.
The collaborative efforts of researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, Imperial College London, and the University of Athens suggest these compounds could spearhead forthcoming clinical trials.
Vasilis Vasiliou from Yale School of Public Health noted, “By amalgamating artificial intelligence, analytical chemistry, and omics studies, we offer new insights into how extra virgin olive oil might aid in the prevention or therapy of Alzheimer’s.”
Initially, the team singled out 67 potential bioactive chemicals in the oil that might deter Alzheimer's root causes and alleviate its symptoms. The machine learning tools helped simulate the interruption of disease-associated plaque buildup by these compounds.
What sets this research apart is its use of a machine learning model explicitly designed to handle the type of network structures found in biological datasets.
From the ten identified phytochemicals, quercetin was singled out as the most promising in emulating the action of existing Alzheimer's drugs. Past studies have linked quercetin to the reduction of amyloid beta accumulation—a significant culprit in Alzheimer's. Additionally, quercetin seems to counteract oxidative stress, a factor in advancing neurodegenerative diseases.
Although the study accentuates the health merits of extra virgin olive oil, it doesn’t come without its limitations. The team clarified that the model identified potential anti-Alzheimer's compounds in the oil but couldn't precisely measure their efficacy. The algorithm's training also relied solely on U.S. approved Alzheimer’s drugs, which could mean overlooking other potent compounds.
The researchers emphasized the importance of future studies to validate their machine learning methodology. They added, “While our findings unveil the potential therapeutic value of extra virgin olive oil for Alzheimer’s, this methodology could similarly pinpoint beneficial compounds in other foods for various ailments like dementia, hypertension, or dyslipidemia.”