According to a new study, incorporating olive oil into diet can lead to a significant reduction of around 28% in dementia related mortality. Scientists in Boston propose that this widely used oil might hold a vital key to promoting brain health.
Healthy lifestyles can slow cognitive decline
Research suggests that adding half a tablespoon of olive oil to your daily diet may decrease the risk of death from dementia. This could be particularly important as rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia increase worldwide. The study highlights the potential of a healthy lifestyle, including dietary factors, in preventing or slowing down the progression of these conditions.
Postdoctoral research associate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Anne-Julie Tessier said that the study reinforces dietary guidelines that recommend vegetable oils like olive oil and emphasizes that the recommendations support heart health and brain health as well. Tessier added that choosing olive oil, a naturally derived product, over alternatives like commercial mayonnaise and margarine can help lower risk of severe cognitive decline.
This study is the first of its kind to investigate the connection between dementia-related death and dietary habits. Over a span of three decades, researchers analyzed data from more than 90,000 Americans, including dietary questionnaires and death records. Among the participants, 4,749 died from dementia.
Half a tablespoon of olive lowers dementia risk
Researchers established that individuals who consumed over half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia relative to those who rarely or never consumed it. Additionally, replacing just one teaspoon of mayonnaise or margarine with an equal portion of olive oil each day was linked to 8-14% reduced risk of dementia-related death.
The research suggests that using olive oil instead of processed or animal fats is linked to healthier diets. Dr. Tessier found that even with different overall diet qualities, the study showed a consistent connection between olive oil consumption and a reduced risk of dementia death. This indicates that olive oil might have special properties that benefit brain health.