Monday, May 20, 2024

Study Finds Daily Olive Oil Consumption Reduces Dementia-Related Deaths by 28%

In a recent study published by JAMA, researchers found that consuming olive oil daily can significantly reduce the risk of death from dementia-related causes by 28%.

The study, which spanned from 1990 to 2018, analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, tracking 92,383 participants. The data was collected every four years, with participants’ olive oil consumption categorized into four groups: never or less than once a month, more than 0 but under or equal to 4.5 grams a day, more than 4.5 grams a day but under or equal to 7 grams a day, and more than 7 grams a day.

Over the 28-year period, researchers recorded 4,751 dementia-related deaths in the study cohort. The results indicated that consuming at least 7 grams, roughly half a tablespoon, of olive oil per day was associated with the significant decrease in the risk of dementia-related deaths.

Melanie Murphy Richter, a registered dietitian nutritionist, explained that the high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols in olive oil support brain health. These compounds aid digestion, protect against type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers, and importantly, support brain health.

Furthermore, Richter highlighted that olive oil differs from other plant or seed oils due to its healthier fat content. Unlike vegetable and seed oils, which are higher in Omega 6 fatty acids and promote inflammation, olive oil has a higher concentration of Omega 3, which balances out these ratios and supports improved health and longevity.

When selecting olive oil, Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, advised consumers to look for extra-virgin olive oil, which is the highest grade and has the highest nutritional profile. She suggested checking the country of origin, harvest date, and the type of bottle, recommending dark glass to protect the oil from UV rays.

In conclusion, the study underscores the importance of incorporating olive oil into one’s daily diet for cognitive health. Despite recent price spikes due to climate-related supply concerns, experts emphasize the importance of choosing high-quality olive oil, such as extra-virgin or cold-pressed organic varieties, to reap its full health benefits.

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