Extracted from rapeseeds, canola oil is a vegetable oil used in cooking as well as for industrial purpose. It is rich in omega 3 and omega 67 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. It contains less saturated fat and is considered healthy. Canola oil is known for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease as it can lower the level of LDL cholesterol in your body. It is also less expensive as compared to other oils. A new study has been conducted on animals by Philadelphia-based University of Temple to analyze how healthy canola oil is in terms of the brain. (ALSO READ What is Alzheimer’ Disease: Causes, Signs and Treatments of Alzheimer’s or AD).
The research included mice with Alzheimer’s disease. At the age of six months, when the mice had no symptoms of Alzheimer’s, they were divided into two groups. One of the groups was given normal diet and the other was given two tablespoons of canola oil in addition to the normal diet every day.
The mice were observed closely and after six months, it was noted that the mice that were given canola oil weighed more as compared to the mice who were on the normal diet. It was also observed that there was a drop in the memory of the mice that were consuming canola oil than those who just had the regular diet. (ALSO READ 5 Ways to Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease).
The levels of amyloid beta 1-40, a protein, decreased in the canola-fed group. Amyloid beta 1-40 is required to prevent the formation of amyloids, which forms sticky clumps in the brain. In the canola fed group of mice, the level of amyloid beta 1-40 dropped and it resulted in a rise in the amyloid clumps in their brains. The amyloid plaques stick to the neurons and lower the connection between neurons, resulting in synapse injuries. Synapses are important for memory functions, so when there are synapse injuries, memory function in mice decreased. To analyze the effect of canola oil on learning ability, short-term memory and working memory in mice, scientists conducted many maze tests. (ALSO READ Eyes can reveal onset of Alzheimer’s disease).
According to the study, long-term consumption can cause brain impairment. More research is required to know whether the effect of canola oil is limited to Alzheimer’s disease as there is a chance that canola oil consumption could affect the onset of other neurodegenerative diseases.