Canola oil might be advertised as a cheap, healthy vegetable oil, but beware: it could murder you.
Just kidding. But new research does show that it could lead to memory and learning problems in patients with Alzheimer's, leading scientists to believe that it’s not quite as healthy as advertised.
There is very little research on canola oil, even though it is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils, but this study, conducted by the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, is the first to suggest that the benign-seeming oil could actually be harmful for the brain.
The research was conducted on two groups of mice, one of which was fed a regular diet, and the other one which was fed a diet supplemented with canola oil.
12 months later, they analyzed the differences between the groups and found that the canola oil group had gained significantly more weight. Also, they had more difficulty with working memory and learning when presented with maze-based tests.
When the brains were analyzed, they found that the mice that had been on the canola oil diet had increased amyloid plaques on their brains and injury to their synapses, the connections between neurons in the brain.
Both of those brain conditions are common in humans with Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers had used a similar method to study olive oil, and they found that it contributed to brain health. So maybe use that oil instead when you’re pan-frying your vegetables.