Regular olive oil intake linked to 28% reduced risk of dementia-related Death

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Study shows daily olive oil intake may lower dementia risk.

NEW YORK, May 8: A recent study conducted in the United States suggests that incorporating just a small amount of olive oil into daily dietary habits may offer significant health benefits, including potential protection against dementia. Led by nutritionist Anne-Julie Tessier from Harvard University, the research highlights the distinctive health-promoting properties of olive oil, irrespective of overall diet quality.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, analyzed data from surveys conducted on nurses and health professionals during the 1970s and 1980s. Participants, initially free of heart disease and cancer, were surveyed about olive oil consumption starting in 1990. Over the follow-up period, which spanned several decades, 4,751 of the 92,383 participants succumbed to dementia-related causes.

Results revealed that adults who consumed more than 7 grams of olive oil daily—equivalent to approximately half a tablespoon—experienced a 28 percent lower risk of death from dementia-related diseases compared to those who seldom or never consumed olive oil. Researchers attribute these benefits to olive oil’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, stemming from its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols.

While animal studies support the notion that specific fats and antioxidants in olive oil can confer protective effects on brain health, neuroscientist Domenico Praticò from Temple University emphasizes that it may be the synergistic interaction of various compounds rather than a single element responsible for these positive effects.

However, the study’s findings are limited by its primarily White and educated participant pool, preventing broad generalizations across diverse populations. Additionally, as an observational study, direct causation between olive oil consumption and reduced dementia risk cannot be established conclusively at this stage.

Nonetheless, previous research aligns with these findings, suggesting a lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases among regular olive oil consumers. With dementia rates on the rise globally and limited treatment options available, adopting preventive measures such as dietary modifications, physical activity, and cognitive exercises becomes crucial in addressing this public health challenge affecting over 55 million individuals worldwide.

While olive oil undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, the study underscores the importance of identifying key components that yield the greatest health impacts, particularly for vulnerable populations lacking access to the full diet spectrum.

Ultimately, understanding the potential benefits of olive oil consumption offers valuable insights into preventive strategies against dementia and underscores the significance of dietary interventions in promoting long-term brain health.

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