Canola oil can make you fatter and dumber. A recent study showed that it appears to increase the risk of obesity with worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer’s.
Date: December 7, 2017
Source: Temple University Health System
Summary: Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils, yet little is known about its poisonous health effects. Now, a study links canola oil consumption in the diet with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the first study to suggest that canola oil is more harmful than healthy for the brain and the body.
Michael’s comment: Reading labels when I buy food at health food stores, I always look at the source of the oil(s) in the product. All too often companies that have good intentions are feeding their customers canola oil, not knowing that it may be unhealthy, rather than formulating their products with more costly but well-known healthy oils, like organic extra virgin olive oil.
THE MESSAGE IS READ THE LABEL! READ THE LABEL! READ THE LABEL!
THE FULL STORY
Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) associates the consumption of canola oil in the diet with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is the first to suggest that canola oil is more harmful than healthful for the brain – and body. (I have known that “canola oil” is a man-made oil derived from the poisonous rapeseed plant (rapeseed?!?), that is created by removing a poison (erucic acid) so that it could be marketed to unsuspecting consumers, This has been foisted on the public since I was a teenager in the ’60’s. My biochemist father taught me nutritional caution well!)
“Canola oil is appealing because it is less expensive than other vegetable oils, and it is advertised as being healthy,” explained Domenico Praticò, MD, Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and Director of the Alzheimer’s Center at LKSOM, as well as the senior investigator on the study. “Very few studies, however, have examined that claim, especially in terms of the brain.”
Curious about how canola oil affects brain function, Dr. Praticò and Elisabetta Lauretti, a graduate student in Dr. Pratico’s laboratory at LKSO2M and co-author on the new study, focused their work on memory impairment and the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model.
Trying to Lose Weight But Somehow It’s Impossible?
There are numerous things that effect having a lean body or struggling with weight issues. Try to avoid foods that contain canola oil for a few months and see if your body responds better to your effort to lose fat.
Quit Eating Canola Oil To Avoid A Future o Alzheimer’s disease
We have all see the tragedy and suffering that Alzheimer’s creates in our seniors (and their relatives and children). Parents that loved us can’t even remember our names. The beginning loss of memory starts as early as in our ’20, but people write it off to many other things. However, memory loss at a young age for canola eaters can predict full-blown Alzheimer’s later in life. Do you have moments when you can’t remember why you went into a room? Quit eating foods that contain canola oil for a few months and see if your memory starts getting better.
Amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau, which is responsible for the formation of tau neurofibrillary tangles (not good for brain function), contribute to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration and memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. The animal model was designed to recapitulate Alzheimer’s in humans, progressing from an asymptomatic phase in early life to full-blown disease in aged animals.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Better Memory
Dr. Praticò and Lauretti had previously used the same mouse model in an investigation of olive oil, the results of which were published earlier in 2017. In that study, they found that Alzheimer mice fed a diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil had reduced levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau and experienced memory improvement. For their latest work, they wanted to determine whether canola oil is similarly beneficial for the brain.
Only Real Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
By the way, one of the best tasting true organic extra virgin olive oils, based on a University of California at Davis study, was Kirkland’s Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive. The study echoes a Consumer Reports article that found that only 9 out of 23 tested olive oils were the real deal. We will cover olive oils in a future article, but for the time being, we cannot recommend the Kirkland olive oil because Costco started using plastic containers, rather than glass. Plastic containers allow the oil to degrade more quickly.
According to the UC Davis study, one of the higher quality real extra virgin olive oils is grown and made by California Olive Oil Ranch. I can attest that this is one of the great buttery tasting extra virgin olive oils!
The Canola Poison Study
The researchers started by dividing the mice into two groups at six months of age before the animals developed signs of Alzheimer’s disease. One group was fed a normal diet, while the other was fed a diet supplemented with the equivalent of about two tablespoons of canola oil daily.
Canola Oil: Fattening and Causing Memory Problems
The researchers then assessed the animals at 12 months. One of the first differences observed was in body weight — animals on the canola oil-enriched diet weighed significantly more than mice on the regular diet. Maze tests to assess working memory, short-term memory and learning ability uncovered additional differences. Most significantly, mice that had consumed canola oil over a period of six months suffered impairments in working memory.
Examination of brain tissue from the two groups of mice revealed that canola oil-treated animals had greatly reduced levels of amyloid beta 1-40. Amyloid beta 1-40 is the more soluble form of the amyloid beta proteins. It generally is considered to serve a beneficial role in the brain and acts as a buffer for the more harmful insoluble form, amyloid beta 1-42.
As a result of decreased amyloid beta 1-40, animals on the canola oil diet further showed an increased formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, with neurons engulfed in amyloid beta 1-42. The damage was accompanied by a significant decrease in the number of contacts between neurons, indicative of extensive synapse injury. Synapses, the areas where neurons come into contact with one another, play a central role in memory formation and retrieval.
“Amyloid beta 1-40 neutralizes the actions of amyloid 1-42, which means that a decrease in 1-40, like the one observed in our study, leaves 1-42 unchecked,” Dr. Praticò explained. “In our model, this change in ratio resulted in considerable neuronal damage, decreased neural contacts, and memory impairment.”
Just Because It’s “Natural” Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy
The findings suggest that long-term consumption of canola oil is not beneficial to brain health. “Even though canola oil is a vegetable oil, we need to be careful before we say that it is healthy,” Dr. Praticò said. “Based on the evidence from this study, canola oil should NOT be thought of as being equivalent to oils with proven health benefits.”
Canola Is Simply Bad
The next step is to carry out a study of shorter duration to determine the minimum extent of exposure necessary to produce observable changes in the ratio of amyloid beta 1-42 to 1-40 in the brain and alter synapse connections. A longer study may be warranted in order to determine whether canola oil also eventually impacts tau phosphorylation since no effects on tau were observed over the six-month exposure period.
Brain Damage, In General
“We also want to know whether the negative effects of canola oil are specific for Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Praticò added. “There is a chance that the consumption of canola oil could also affect the onset and course of other neurodegenerative diseases or other forms of dementia.”
The research was funded in part by a grant from the Wanda Simone Endowment for Neuroscience.
Michael’s Comment: Canola stands for Canada Oil2 as there was originally no “canola” plant. The rapeseed plant that is the original source of canola oil, contains a poison called erucic acid. Data suggests that, among other things, erucic acid is toxic to the heart.3,4
Distilling the erucic acid out of canola oil created a cheap source of oil that had what appeared to be a high “heart-healthy” monounsaturated fat content that could be marketed to unsuspecting consumers easily. However, canola oil has never been confirmed to be a healthy oil for human consumption. This study begins the investigation that raises more questions about healthy human consumption of this man-made, unnatural “natural” product. Canola oil can be produced as “organic” canola oil, so please consider what is really healthy and save yourself from the damage that can be caused by clever “organic” marketing.
Remember to look for olive oil on labels when you buy foods and ask the store manager to avoid stocking products that contain canola oil.
Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil For A Long Health Life
Stick with the heart-healthy, tasty bouquet of organic extra virgin olive oil and live long and prosper! Yum!
One study showed that Wistar lab rats lived 18% longer when given an organic extra virgin olive oil.5.
Materials provided by Temple University Health System. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
1.Elisabetta Lauretti & Domenico Praticò, Effect of canola oil consumption on memory, synapse, and neuropathology in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17373-3.
2. Canola Council of Canada (2016). “What is Canola?” Retrieved 2013-10-16.
3. “Canola” .The Free Dictionary. 2016. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
At 65 years of age, Michael has been studying health and ageing for almost 50 years. After experiencing re-growth and darkening of his own hair, as confirmed by numerous friends, caused by experimentation with specific nutrients, he has also experienced a tremendous reduction in facial wrinkles because of the use of various nutritional supplements, biological peptides, botanicals and a specific whole foods diet. Michael further experienced tremendous improvements in his long-term and short-term memory with nootropics.