According to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, olive oil could ward off dementia by 30 years. This is the first study to examine the link between diet and dementia-related deaths.
Today, dementia is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for approximately 70% of cases.
Last year, a study showed that the Mediterranean diet helps prevent cognitive decline and reduces the risk of dementia by 23%. But today, researchers are particularly interested in benefits ofolive oil against deaths related to different forms of dementia. The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, held July 22-25 in Boston. Note that the conclusions presented are considered preliminary and have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Olive oil would be a formidable ally in the fight against dementia
The study presented was large-scale and long-term since it brings together more than 90,000 American healthcare professionals who have been followed since 1990. During the 28 years of the study, the scientists regularly collected questionnaires on the dietary and lifestyle habits of the participants. In total, 4749 people are dead of dementia during the study. The results revealed that the risk of death from dementia was 28% lower in participants who consumed more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day.
In addition, the researchers calculated that for people consuming margarine or mayonnaise, replacing just a teaspoon of these with olive oil daily would already be beneficial. The risk of dying from dementia could be reduced by 8 to 14%. “Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations not only promote heart health, but also potentially brain health.“said Anne-Julie Tessier, a researcher at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.”Opt for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and the commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of life-threatening dementia“, she concludes.
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of olive oil on heart health. fatty acids omega 3 it contains would help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Besides their beneficial effects on the heart, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that could ward off dementia. In addition, the wealth in polyphenols olive oil, antioxidants, would slow cell aging.
“Some antioxidant compounds in olive oil can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially having a direct effect on the brain“, explains Anne-Julie Tessier. “It’s also possible that olive oil has an indirect effect on brain health by benefiting cardiovascular health.“, she adds.
However, the expert recalls that the conclusions of this study are observational and do not constitute irrefutable proof that olive oil has a direct impact on reducing the risk of fatal dementia. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.
- American Society for Nutrition
- World Health Organization