Eating olive oil could reduce the risk of dementia development.
What people eat impacts their health.
We all know that, right?
After all, you are what you eat.
The negative health effects of processed foods are widely known.
While more natural foods tend to have better nutrients for supporting general health, some are recognized as providing specific benefits.
According to a recent Prevention article titled “Olive Oil Linked to Lower Risk of Dying From Dementia, Study Shows,” olive oil may support brain health.
Researchers recently presented the results of a study at the NUTRITION 2023 annual meeting for the American Society of Nutrition.
The study included more than 90,000 participants from the United States.
They reviewed 30 years of data for 31,801 men and 60,582 women.
During the study, 4,749 participants died from dementia.
What were the research findings?
Those who included more than ½ of a tablespoon of olive oil daily had noticeable differences in their brain health.
Compared to those who rarely or never consumed olive oils, participants who ate olive oil showed a 28 percent lower risk of dying from dementia.
Those who consumed more than 1 ½ teaspoon of olive oil daily had a 25 percent reduced risk of developing fatal dementia than those who never or rarely ate olive oil.
Additionally, those who switched about a teaspoon each day of mayonnaise or margin to olive oil likely reduced their risk of death from dementia from 8 percent to 14 percent.
Was diet the only factor in dementia death?
The study participants who died from dementia were also more likely to be APOe4 carriers.
The APOe4 gene is recognized as increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Does this nullify the study results indicating olive oil promotes brain health?
Nope, according to the researchers.
When they adjusted for the genetic risk factors, the results remained consistent.
Why might olive oil support brain health?
Olive oils have both anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants.
The properties may help improve gut health, reduce the risk of heart disease, protect brain health, and improve other health parameters like A1C levels.
A1C levels have been connected to type 2 diabetes.
The findings of this study are consistent with studies correlating the Mediterranean diet with improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of cognitive decline in those at risk of dementia.
How are these connected?
The Mediterranean diet includes unsaturated fats, specifically those provided by olive oil.
Although other factors certainly play a role in dementia development, you may still keep some extra-virgin olive oil on hand to lightly drizzle your food.
This certainly seems like a little effort for a potentially significant payoff.
I would say it is worth a go.
Reference: Prevention (July 29, 2023) “Olive Oil Linked to Lower Risk of Dying From Dementia, Study Shows”