Half a spoonful of olive oil a day contrasts dementia and its consequences and improves brain health compared to those who rarely consume this precious condiment. What has been stated emerges from an American research performed by a team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition held in Boston between 22 and 25 July (Tessier et al, Nutrition 2023, Boston 22-25 July).
How to tackle dementia and associated symptoms?
Lifestyle has its say when it comes to health and today's research adds a new, very important element. Olive oil, one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean Diet, may play a role when it comes to improving longevity and protecting the brain. Olive oil, and in particular extra virgin olive oil, provides antioxidants, vitamin E and fatty acids capable of protecting the heart and liver, reducing inflammation and fighting tumors. And from today, we know that olive oil can also help fight dementia and its unfortunate outcomes.
Extra virgin olive oil improves brain health, study
Scientists recruited 90,000 volunteers and followed them for 30 years. During this period, the study participants were followed up through questionnaires on their daily diet and medical visits. What emerged from the comparison of the available data is that consuming more than half a spoonful of olive oil a day leads to a 28% reduction in the risk of dying from dementia compared to those who do not consume olive oil or they rarely do. Not only that, just replacing a teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil leads to a reduction in the risk of death from dementia by up to 14%.
Green light for olive oil, better if extra virgin olive oil, even richer in antioxidants. You can use extra virgin olive oil to dress salads, prepare sauces, gravies or for cooking. In this way you not only get tasty but also healthier dishes, given the properties of extra virgin olive oil to protect the heart and counteract cellular degeneration, fight dementia and its effects and prolong longevity, as we were able to learn today. However, as interesting as it is, the research has not been able to explain the reason for this protective action of olive oil and therefore more work will have to be done to shed light on this aspect as well. But this does not detract from the importance of what emerged from the American study, which encourages the use of extra virgin olive oil in one's preparations.