Canola oil could cause weight gain and memory loss (Los Angeles Times):
“According to a recent study conducted on mice, just two tablespoons of canola oil per day can cause weight gain and severe progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The new results are calling into question previous recommendations of canola oil as a healthful alternative to saturated fats.
“Canola oil is appealing because it is less expensive than other vegetable oils, and it is advertised as being healthy,” said lead researcher Domenico Praticò, M.D. “Very few studies, however, have examined that claim, especially in terms of the brain.”
After six months on the diet, mice that consumed canola oil were significantly heavier than the mice who did not. Additionally, the researchers found that the canola-consuming mice experienced significant declines in working memory, apparently having worsened the onset of their Alzheimer’s. While foods like berries and salmon seem to stave off the disease, canola oil could be making it worse…So far in recent research, it seems olive oil has the greatest variety of health benefits when compared to other oils.”
Effect of canola oil consumption on memory, synapse and neuropathology in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (Scientific Reports)
- Abstract: In recent years consumption of canola oil has increased due to lower cost compared with olive oil and the perception that it shares its health benefits. However, no data are available on the effect of canola oil intake on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Herein, we investigated the effect of chronic daily consumption of canola oil on the phenotype of a mouse model of AD that develops both plaques and tangles (3xTg). To this end mice received either regular chow or a chow diet supplemented with canola oil for 6 months. At this time point we found that chronic exposure to the canola-rich diet resulted in a significant increase in body weight and impairments in their working memory together with decrease levels of post-synaptic density protein-95, a marker of synaptic integrity, and an increase in the ratio of insoluble A? 42/40. No significant changes were observed in tau phosphorylation and neuroinflammation. Taken together, our findings do not support a beneficial effect of chronic canola oil consumption on two important aspects of AD pathophysiology which includes memory impairments as well as synaptic integrity. While more studies are needed, our data do not justify the current trend aimed at replacing olive oil with canola oil.
The Study in Context
- Solving the Brain Fitness Puzzle Is the Key to Self-Empowered Aging
- The Mediterranean Diet seen to substantially reduce brain shrinkage among older adults
- Can you grow your hippocampus? Yes. Here’s how, and why it matters
- Study: 46.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease brain pathology today, so it’s urgent to prevent or at least delay progression to clinical disease
Martin B. Brilliant says
If we give up canola oil we will substitute another oil. Therefore the control should have been another oil, not absence of oil.
Alvaro Fernandez says
That’s a fair point — ideally they should have compared it with, say, “a chow diet supplemented with olive oil.”
I suspect they didn’t for simplicity, because there’s been plenty of studies with olive oil that have found primarily positive effects. Had they compared olive vs. canola oil, and had results for canola oil been as negative as outlined above, someone could have said “Well, it’s perhaps not as good as olive oil, but surely it’s better than nothing?” Which, via the (imperfect) methodology used, that was shown not to be the case.