Olive Oil Consumption and Dementia Mortality: A Promising Study

by | May 17, 2024 | Studies - Blog Section

A bottle of olive oil next to fresh vegetables with a Mediterranean backdrop, highlighting the connection between olive oil and dementia prevention.

Lazy? Quick Read.

Key takeaways on the new 2024 study regarding olive oil and dementia.

1. Reduced Dementia Mortality: The study found that consuming more than 7 grams of olive oil daily is associated with a 28% lower risk of dementia-related death.

2. Independent of Diet Quality: The protective effects of olive oil against dementia mortality were consistent regardless of the overall diet quality of participants.

3. Substitution Benefits: Replacing 5 grams of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil resulted in an 8% to 14% reduction in dementia mortality risk.

4. Mechanisms of Protection: Olive oil’s high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols may contribute to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are beneficial for cognitive health.

5. Broader Implications: These findings support dietary recommendations to include olive oil as a strategy for enhancing cognitive health and reducing dementia-related mortality.

6. Extensive Study Cohorts: The study analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, encompassing over 92,000 participants and nearly 2.2 million person-years of follow-up.

Author: Athanasios Demeslis

Author: Athanasios Demeslis

Producer of Myrolion

This article has been prepared by Athanasios to help you understand the link between olive oil and dementia-related mortality.

Athanasios brings years of experience in olive farming, olive oil extraction, and sensory evaluation of olive oil, along with a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology.

Recent research has highlighted the potential cognitive benefits of incorporating olive oil into our diets. A study published in JAMA Network Open explores the relationship between long-term olive oil consumption and the risk of dementia-related mortality, providing compelling evidence that olive oil may play a crucial role in reducing the risk of death associated with dementia.

Study Overview

Conducted by Anne-Julie Tessier, PhD, and colleagues, this study utilized data from two significant U.S. prospective cohort studies: the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). Spanning from 1990 to 2018, the study involved 92,383 participants, including 60,582 women and 31,801 men, who were initially free from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Participants’ olive oil intake was assessed every four years using a food frequency questionnaire, and their diet quality was evaluated based on the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) and the Mediterranean Diet score.

Key Findings

The study’s findings are noteworthy. Over 28 years of follow-up, with more than 2.18 million person-years, 4,751 dementia-related deaths were recorded. The results demonstrated a clear inverse relationship between olive oil consumption and dementia mortality. Specifically, participants who consumed more than 7 grams of olive oil per day had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared to those who rarely or never consumed olive oil. This association persisted even after adjusting for various confounders, including genetic, sociodemographic, and lifestyle factors.

Interestingly, the protective effect of olive oil was consistent across different levels of diet quality. This suggests that the benefits of olive oil on cognitive health may be independent of the overall quality of one’s diet. Moreover, the study found that substituting 5 grams of margarine or mayonnaise with an equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with an 8% to 14% reduction in the risk of dementia mortality. However, substitutions involving other vegetable oils or butter did not yield significant results.

Mechanisms of Olive Oil Benefits Against Dementia

The potential mechanisms through which olive oil exerts its neuroprotective effects are manifold. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, and polyphenols, all of which possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds may help mitigate inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, both of which are linked to cognitive decline and dementia. Furthermore, olive oil may improve vascular health, thereby enhancing cerebral blood flow and reducing the risk of vascular dementia.

Previous studies, particularly those conducted in Mediterranean countries, have also shown that olive oil consumption is associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of cognitive impairment. For instance, the PREDIMED trial, a landmark study on the Mediterranean diet, found that higher intake of olive oil, combined with adherence to a Mediterranean diet, was protective against cognitive decline.

Myrolion olive oil checks all the boxes for the onset of these mechanisms. It boasts an increased content of oleic acid, vitamin E, and polyphenols, making it an excellent choice for those looking to optimize their cognitive health through diet.

Implications for Public Health

The findings of this study have significant implications for public health and dietary guidelines. They suggest that increasing olive oil consumption could be a viable strategy for reducing the risk of dementia-related mortality, regardless of one’s overall diet quality. This is particularly relevant given the rising age-standardized dementia mortality rates, in contrast to the declining mortality rates for other diseases like stroke and heart disease.

Incorporating olive oil into daily meals can be a simple yet effective measure to promote cognitive health. For individuals looking to optimize their diet for longevity and brain health, replacing less healthy fats like margarine and mayonnaise with olive oil may be a beneficial step. 


Invest in Your Future Health with Myrolion

The study by Tessier and colleagues underscores the importance of dietary choices in influencing long-term health outcomes. As part of a balanced diet, olive oil not only supports heart health but also offers protective benefits against dementia-related mortality. These findings reinforce the broader recommendations of choosing healthy fats and adopting dietary patterns rich in plant-based foods for overall well-being and cognitive longevity.

By making conscious dietary choices today, we can take proactive steps towards a healthier, dementia-free future.

Enhance your cognitive health and reduce the risk of dementia-related mortality with Myrolion olive oil. Packed with oleic acid, vitamin E, and polyphenols, Myrolion olive oil is the perfect addition to your diet.

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