Harvard researchers may have dispelled negative perceptions of the oil, publishing a new study that found people who consumed more olive oil reduced their risk of premature death and multiple illnesses.
Published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers have revealed the results of a 28-year study of more than 90,000 participants. All were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study and, over several decades, completed dietary questionnaires every four years.
Researchers asked participants how often they used olive oil in their salad dressings, food, bread, or in cooking or frying. The results of the study showed that people in the highest category of olive oil consumption, defined as more than seven grams per day, had a 19% lower risk of total and cardiovascular mortality.
Those in the high olive oil consumption category also had a 17% lower cancer mortality risk, a 29% lower neurodegenerative mortality risk, and an 18% lower respiratory mortality risk, compared to those who never or rarely consumed olive oil.
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The researchers compared the use of olive oil to margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat.
“Clinicians should advise patients to replace certain fats, such as margarine and butter, with olive oil to improve their health. Our study helps make specific recommendations that will be easy for patients to understand and hopefully implement into their diet,” said Marta Guasch-Ferré, principal investigator at Harvard Chan School. in a report.
The researchers behind the olive oil study said it was the first long-term observational study of olive oil consumption and mortality in the United States. United, because previous research on olive oil and health focused primarily on populations in Europe and the Mediterranean.
Susanna Larsson, corresponding author of the study, written in an editorial that the association of olive oil consumption and risk of death from neurodegenerative disease is particularly novel, given that Alzheimer’s disease is the leading neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia.
Larsson wrote, “Given the lack of preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and the high morbidity and mortality associated with this disease, this finding, if confirmed, is of great public health significance. “.
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