Nav: Home

Temple research: Canola oil linked to worsened memory & learning ability in Alzheimer's

December 07, 2017

(Philadelphia, PA) - 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.

"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 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 LKSOM 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. Amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau, which is responsible for the formation of tau neurofibrillary tangles, 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.

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.

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.

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 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."

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."

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.

"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."
-end-
The research was funded in part by a grant from the Wanda Simone Endowment for Neuroscience.

About Temple Health

Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.8 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research. The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH), ranked among the "Best Hospitals" in the region by U.S. News & World Report; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Jeanes Hospital, a community-based hospital offering medical, surgical and emergency services; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. TUHS is affiliated with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and Temple University Physicians, which is Temple Health's physician practice plan comprised of more than 500 full-time and part-time academic physicians in 20 clinical departments.

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM), established in 1901, is one of the nation's leading medical schools. Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 840 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Katz School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. News & World Report, LKSOM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.

Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by the Katz School of Medicine. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.

Temple University Health System

Related Weight Gain Articles:

Keeping young women's weight gain to less than 800g/year could help prevent progression from healthy weight to overweight and obesity
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (May 17-20) shows that rates of weight gain are established by the time women are 18-23 years old.
Parkinson: Weight gain after deep brain stimulation
It was already known that people affected by Parkinson's disease, when subjected to deep brain stimulation, gained weight, but it was less clear why that was so.
Even 'healthy' weight gain raises pregnancy diabetes risk
Mothers who gain weight in the years leading up to pregnancy have an increased risk of gestational diabetes.
Healthy weight gain in infants
With nearly 10 percent of infants considered 'high weight for length,' University of Delaware researcher Jillian Trabulsi wants to help babies achieve a healthy weight starting with their first months of life.
Avoiding medications that promote weight gain when managing obesity
While diet, exercise and behavior modification are essential components of obesity management, a successful long-term weight loss strategy should also include avoiding or minimizing medication-related weight gain, according to a new report from Weill Cornell Medicine.
Children gain more weight when parents see them as 'overweight'
Children whose parents considered them to be 'overweight' tended to gain more weight over the following decade compared with children whose parents thought they were a 'normal' weight, according to analyses of data from two nationally representative studies.
Does good-tasting food cause weight gain?
Does eating good-tasting food make you gain weight? Despite the common perception that good-tasting food is unhealthy and causes obesity, new research from the Monell Center using a mouse model suggests that desirable taste in and of itself does not lead to weight gain.
Yo-yo dieting might cause extra weight gain
Repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the person to store more fat for future shortages, new research by the universities of Exeter and Bristol suggests.
Adult weight gain could increase cancer risk
Substantial weight gain over many years increases the risk of obesity-related cancers in men by 50 percent and in women by almost 20 percent, according to new research presented at the National Cancer Research Institute's Cancer Conference in Liverpool.
Metformin associated with decreasing weight gain in kids with autism
The diabetes medication metformin hydrochloride was associated with decreased weight gain in a small clinical trial of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder who were taking atypical antipsychotics to treat symptoms of irritability and agitation, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Related Weight Gain Reading:

Weight Gain Smoothies: Invigorating High Calorie Shakes
by Danny Gansneder (Author)

The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ""Healthy"" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain
by Dr. Steven R Gundry M.D. (Author)

How to Gain Weight: The Hardgainer’s Scientific System to Force your Skinny Body to Grow into a Bigger, Stronger and more Muscular Version of Yourself

Rapid Weight Gain Smoothies: Strength Training Bodybuilding High Protein Shakes for Fast Muscle Mass Building (Health & Fitness) (Volume 1)
by Steve R. Gansneder (Author)

Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Weight Gain 2nd Edition
by Dr Elizabeth Wan (Author)

How to Gain Weight: From Ectomorph to Mesomorph
by Khail Kapp (Author)

Healthy Keto Smoothies: Easy and Delicious Ketogenic Smoothies Recipes to Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Feel Great in Your Body
by Dr Mark Hogan (Author)

Greta's Sacrifice : A BBW/BDSM/Feeder Dark Fantasy. Can Greta and her love live happily ever after, or will an evil queen feed them full and consume their desires?

The Bible Cure for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain: Ancient Truths, Natural Remedies and the Latest Findings for Your Health Today (Bible Cure Ser)
by Don Colbert MD (Author)

Garfield Gains Weight: His 2nd Book (Garfield Series)
by Ballantine Books

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Hacking The Law
We have a vision of justice as blind, impartial, and fair — but in reality, the law often fails those who need it most. This hour, TED speakers explore radical ways to change the legal system. Guests include lawyer and social justice advocate Robin Steinberg, animal rights lawyer Steven Wise, political activist Brett Hennig, and lawyer and social entrepreneur Vivek Maru.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#495 Earth Science in Space
Some worlds are made of sand. Some are made of water. Some are even made of salt. In science fiction and fantasy, planet can be made of whatever you want. But what does that mean for how the planets themselves work? When in doubt, throw an asteroid at it. This is a live show recorded at the 2018 Dragon Con in Atlanta Georgia. Featuring Travor Valle, Mika McKinnon, David Moscato, Scott Harris, and moderated by our own Bethany Brookshire. Note: The sound isn't as good as we'd hoped but we love the guests and the conversation and we wanted to...