Canola oil is widely consumed across the world, right behind soybean and palm oil. This is probably because many people believe that it is healthier than other oils. Canola oil has no artificial trans-fats and a low saturated fat percentage.
Along with olive oil, canola oil is higher in heart-healthy Omega-3's. Omega-3's can reduce inflammatory diseases like cancer and heart disease. But there have been very few studies done on how it impacts our brain health.
Olive Oil is Good for Brain Health, How About Canola Oil?
Extra-virgin olive oil, on the other hand, has been shown to help reduce levels of amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques have been shown to be at increased levels in Alzheimer's patients. Because of this, researchers wanted to know if canola oil would have the same healthy affect on our brains.
A study was conducted at LKSOM (Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University) using two groups of mice. One group was fed a normal diet, while the other group's diet was supplemented with approximately 2 Tablespoons of canola oil each day.
As reported on Medicalxpress.com:
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.
More studies are needed before this is conclusive. It is good to remember that there are different types of canola oil, some genetically modified and some not. Surprisingly, about 80% of canola oil marketed today is from GMO plants.
Additionally, there are chemicals used to help extract the oil. There haven't been enough studies done to know if it is actually the oil that caused the results mentioned above or if it is some other factor.
1. Not many studies have been conducted on the healthfulness of Canola Oil.
2. A recent study suggests it may not be beneficial to our brain health.
3. More studies need to be done before we can be certain about the long-term impacts of canola oil on our brain health.