This Mediterranean diet go-to could help stave off dementia


Consuming just seven grams of olive oil – just over half a tablespoon – per day may help prevent dementia, according to a new study.

Regular consumption of this staple salad dressing is associated with a 28% lower risk of dementia-related death than those who did not eat it, CNN reported.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Network Open, observed more than 92,000 28-year-old adults, with an average age of 56 when the study began. Researchers found that replacing just 5 grams – or about 1.2 teaspoons – of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil daily reduced the risk of death from dementia by 8 to 14 percent.

Eating just over half a tablespoon of olive a day could help reduce your risk of dying from dementia. Getty Images

“Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations support not only heart health but also potentially brain health,” Anne-Julie Tessier, co-author of the study and Research Associate at the TH Chan School of Harvard University. Public Health, said in a statement. “Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats like commercial margarine and mayonnaise, is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of life-threatening dementia.”

But not all experts were so optimistic about the results. At least someone was quick to point out that the study – while promising – only shows association, not causation.

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects approximately 5.8 million Americans. Getty Images

“More research is needed,” said Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston University in the United Kingdom, according to CNN. Other experts have noted that more than half of dementia cases are caused by vascular disease, which is any condition affecting your circulatory system, according to MedlinePlus.

Researchers believe the benefits of olive oil may be linked to antioxidants that cross the blood-brain barrier and may have a direct positive effect on the brain, as well as the body’s high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids. oil, which can help lower cholesterol.

Olive oil has been shown to have many benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering high cholesterol, and maintaining heart health. Getty Images

The oil has already been shown to benefit your heart, can reduce inflammation, limit the risk of liver damage, and maintain oxidative balance, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dementia generally refers to the loss of cognitive functions, but the most common form people experience is Alzheimer’s disease. About 5.8 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number is expected to rise to 14 million by 2060.

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