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The Magic Elixir

Why do Italians get so old and stay so CHEERFUL? They put olive oil on almost everything they eat!

Oleocanthal, a naturally-occurring compound found in extra-virgin olive oil, alters the structure of the proteins believed to contribute to the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease. This structural change is what changes the proteins' ability to damage brain nerve cells. these highly toxic proteins affect the brains of Alzheimer's patients and are believed to directly disrupt nerve cell function, eventually leading to memory loss, cell death, and global disruption of brain function.And scientists have found that the Mediterranean diet, which is eaten in Spain and Italy and is high in fruits, vegetables and cereals and low in red meat (and contains plenty of olive oil) leads to 30% less depression in the people who eat it.

BBC News quotes psychologist Cecilia D'Felice as saying, "What we do know is that a diet high in olive oil will enhance the amount of serotonin or brain transmitter available to you. Most anti-depression drugs work to keep more serotonin available in the brain." And if you're naturally low on serotonin, it helps to have an Italian mother as well!

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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