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Daily Olive Oil Consumption Lowers Risk of Developing Dementia

For good health, eating a variety of foods is best. But some foods, such as olive oil, seem to be especially beneficial. A recent study found that high olive oil consumption lowers the risk of developing dementia, perhaps due to its anti-inflammatory properties and improving vascular health.

The large long-term study found that high olive oil consumption significantly decreased rates of developing and dying with dementia. Consuming at least half a tablespoon (7 grams) of olive oil was associated with a 28% lower risk for dementia-related death. And it didn't matter what the rest of the diet was.

Even replacing one teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil was beneficial - about 8 to 14% lower chances of dying with dementia. By the way, both margarine and mayonnaise are ultra-processed foods (look at the ingredients!).

Other benefits of olive oil: it lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, is anti-inflammatory, and helps preserve cognitive health as a person ages (it's neuroprotective).

Research finds that for health benefits, best is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Extra virgin olive oil is anti-inflammatory and contains oleocanthal, which has anticancer effects. Health benefits are both if eaten as is (e.g., dunk bread, in salad dressings) or cooked (e.g. roast vegetables, in sauces, cooking foods).

From Medical Xpress: Study suggests daily consumption of olive oil reduces chances of developing dementia

A team of nutritionists and medical researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found evidence that daily consumption of olive oil may reduce the chances of developing dementia.

In their study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the group analyzed data for thousands of people included in two separate health databases and found that those people who consumed at least 7 g of olive oil daily were less likely to die from dementia-related ailments.

Prior research has suggested that following the Mediterranean diet can lead to healthier outcomes for most people. The diet tends to stress consuming legumes, vegetables, nuts, fish, dairy and olive oil. In this new study, the research team found evidence that the heavy use of olive oil in such diets may be one of its most significant factors.

To learn more about possible health benefits of regularly consuming olive oil, the researchers studied patient data for more than 60,000 women included in the Nurses' Health Study and more than 31,000 men included in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Both databases include historical information, following patients for up to 30 years. They also include data regarding cause of death.

The researchers found that 4,751 of the 92,383 patients listed in the two databases had died from dementia-related causes. In comparing diet information, they found that those who had consumed at least a half-teaspoon of olive oil per day over the course of the study years were 28% less likely to have died from diseases related to the development of dementia.

The research team also noted that many of the people in the databases who had consumed olive oil on a daily basis over many years had done so by using it to replace butter, mayonnaise and other vegetable oils in cooking and dressings. Those same people therefore also ate less of those other products, which could also have had an impact on dementia rates.

The team further suggests that consumption of a Mediterranean diet, with a strong emphasis on olive oil, may reduce the chances of developing dementia by inhibiting inflammation caused by other factors.

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