New Research Links Canola Oil Consumption with Memory Issues in Mice Model

New Research Links Canola Oil Consumption with Memory Issues in Mice Model

Canola oil has been linked to increased risk of memory issues and Alzheimer’s disease in a new research conducted on mice model at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia. The research team found that consumption of canola oil on a regular basis increased the risk of memory issues among lab mice. The consumption of canola oil was also linked to weight gain in mice.

In the recent years, consumption of canola oil has increased in the United States and in other markets as well. Earlier research has indicated canola oil as a suitable option to keep low cholesterol levels. Canola oil is low in erucic acid.

Commercially available canola oil was developed in Canada in the 1970s. Canola oil consumption has witnessed growth in the recent years. Canada exports canola oil to many countries. Canola oil is pressed from rapeseed, or Brassica napus, which is a yellow flowering plant that belongs to the cabbage family.

Dr. Domenico Praticò, of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University said, "Canola oil is appealing because it is less expensive than other vegetable oils, and it is advertised as being healthy. Very few studies, however, have examined that claim, especially in terms of the brain." The study team closely watched 6-month-old mouse model to see the impact of canola oil. The aim of research team was the see how canola oil impacts the pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

The study team noted 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 Aβ 42/40.

However, no significant changes were observed in tau phosphorylation and neuroinflammation. Taken together, the study 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.

Dr. Praticò added, "Even though canola oil is a vegetable oil, we need to be careful before we say that it is healthy. Based on the evidence from this study, canola oil should not be thought of as being equivalent to oils with proven health benefits."

The issue regarding the best oil for regular consumption has remained a mystery for consumers. Some studies conducted in the past have given positive feedback about olive oil. In the recent years, coconut oil has been termed as a healthy option. Clarified butter (Ghee, popular in Indian cuisine) has also been promoted as a healthy option for frying and usage in cooking of dishes that require long cooking time. However, for majority of customers, the choice of oil also depends on the cost of oil. Soybean oil, Sunflower oil, Canola oil, Rice Bran oil and Groundnut oil are affordable options compared to olive oil, ghee or coconut oil.

Today canola oil is the third largest vegetable oil by volume after palm and soybean oil worldwide, and in the United States is one of the most widely used oil for human consumption second only to soybean oil

Detailed results of the study have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.