Canola oil is a commercial name for the modified rapeseed oil that has been designed to eliminate unwanted compounds. Brassica napus, or commonly known as rapeseed, is a plant with yellow flowers that belongs to the mustard family.
The name canola is derived from the name Canadian Oil, which literally means oil from Canada. Namely, the first consumable canola oil has been developed in the 1970s, by Canadian researchers.
This vegetable oil is one of the most frequently used oils worldwide. However, we know very little about its effects on the human health.
Namely, this vegetable oil is attractive because it’s a cheaper option than other types of vegetable oils, and it’s advertised as a healthy product. However, the number of studies that have examined this is very low. Also, there are very few studies on its effects on the human brain.
But the trend is going forward. Today, there’s some research on the matter. The studies associate the consumption of this oil with an increased percentage of memory loss, impaired learning capacity, and weight gain. Also, they suggest that canola oil is, in fact, more harmful than healthy for the brain. Which is just the opposite of a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil.
The Test With Mice
A study, conducted by the Temple University School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, discovered an Alzheimer’s link with a regular consumption of canola oil. Namely, regular consumption of this oil can aggravate memory problems, decrease the ability of learning, and also lead to weight gain.
For the research, the team used mice with Alzheimer’s disease, and at 6 months of age, they were separated into 2 groups, before the signs of the disease appeared.
The experimental group received a supplement, equivalent to approximately 2 tablespoons of canola oil per day. On the other hand, the control group had a standard diet.
At one year of age, the animals were examined. At this time, the researchers noticed a marked difference. The mice who had canola oil showed signs of weight gain when compared to the mice with a standard diet.
Also, the team did additional tests on the mice, to check their short-term memory and learning capacity. They discovered that the mice that ate canola oil had poorer performance in both areas.
While examining the brain tissue of the animals from both groups, the researchers discovered that the animals fed with canola oil had very low levels beta-amyloid 1-40, which is the most soluble form of Abeta proteins, and is generally considered to be beneficial for the brain function.
Consequently, due to this decrease, the animals who had a diet rich in canola oil also showed an increased aggregation of amyloid plaques in the brain. This damage further led to a significant reduction in neuron contacts, which indicates an extensive injury of the synaptic cells. Synapse is an area where the neurons transfer signals between each other. Consequently, it plays an important role in the formation and retrieval of our memories.
Canola Oil And Brain Health
The research suggests that long-term intake of canola oil negatively affects brain health. Although this is a vegetable oil, we should be cautious before recommending it as a healthy product. According to the findings of this study, we should not consider canola oil an equivalent to coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, which are oils with already proven beneficial effects on the human health.
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