How can olive oil help to improve brain health?

How can olive oil help to improve brain health?

According to a recent study, choosing olive oil may lower your risk of developing deadly dementia.

Participants who consumed half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of passing away from dementia.

The incidence of fatal dementia was shown to be lowered by 8–14% by substituting one teaspoon of olive oil for one teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise, according to the study’s authors.

Instead of using margarine or mayonnaise, researchers have found a link between daily olive oil consumption and a lower risk of dementia-related death.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 55 million individuals worldwide suffer from dementia. Dementia is the fifth biggest cause of death for senior citizens, with an estimated 10 million new cases per year.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common type of dementia, is thought to affect 6.7 million Americans over the age of 65.

According to a news release, the new study discovered that those who used olive oil on a regular basis had a 28% lower risk of passing away from dementia than those who did not.

The study looked at health records from 1990 to 2018 for 31,801 men and 60,582 women who were cancer and cardiovascular disease free. We monitored their health for 28 years.

According to the study’s authors, swapping just one teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise for olive oil was linked to an 8–14% lower risk of dementia-related death.

How olive oil can reduce the risk of dementia?

Researchers have been looking into dietary and lifestyle changes as potential treatments for dementia symptoms.

Researchers looked at mortality records and food questionnaires from more than 90,000 Americans over a 30-year period in the new study. Dementia claimed the lives of 4,749 persons in the past three decades.

According to the research, those who ate more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of passing away from dementia than those who never or infrequently ate it.

According to Anne-Julie Tessier, study author and research fellow of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan, “typically, people who use olive oil for cooking or as a dressing have a better overall diet quality, but interestingly, we found the association to be regardless of this factor.”

Our research helps to validate the current dietary recommendations that urge people to choose vegetable oils like olive oil. Beyond heart health, our findings broaden the scope of the present guidelines to include cognitive health, according to Tessier.

Additionally, they discovered that replacing one teaspoon of mayonnaise and margarine with olive oil each day reduced the incidence of dementia-related death by 8–14%.

Tessier outlined the further steps in the research and said that intervention studies are required to shed light on the biological processes that might underlie the potential effects of olive oil on brain function.

Health benefits of olive oil

Olive oil is a powerhouse when it comes to flavour and nutrients,” said Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, and recipe creator at Cheerful Choices.

Olive oil contains 7% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 13% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. A good source of monounsaturated fats, or fats that can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, is olive oil. To properly absorb nutrients from our food, we need to consume enough fats, which can also make us feel satiated for longer.

According to research, consuming olive oil may help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease. Burgess further noted that this new observational study provides encouraging data for brain health.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has the largest percentage of monounsaturated fats when compared to other vegetable oils, which lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, colon cancer, and cancer, according to Dolores Woods, RDN, a nutritionist with the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health.

Overall, EVOO has a lot of fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants, which support longevity and excellent health, according to Woods.

The relationship between olive oil and brain health

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and contains compounds with antioxidant activity that may play a protective role for the brain,” Tessier said. Some of these may be able to pass the blood-brain barrier and potentially affect the brain directly. The improvement of cardiovascular health by olive oil may potentially have a direct impact on brain health.

Even though we already know olive oil has many health advantages, more study is still required to pinpoint how it affects the brain particularly.

According to Dr. Nate Wood, an instructor of medicine and medical education fellow in the division of general internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, “the precise reasons for this connection between olive oil consumption and brain health are not yet known.” Olive oil may protect brain blood vessels in a similar way to how it protects heart blood vessels.

Additionally, it’s likely that the antioxidants in olive oil penetrate the brain and safeguard the cells there just as they do everywhere in the body. Wood stated that more studies will be required to determine the precise causes.

How to increase your use of olive oil?

You can use olive oil in a variety of ways in your regular diet. According to Burgess, do the following:

  • Try roasting or sautéing colorful vegetables in olive oil when cooking.
  • Salads – Add olive oil to homemade vinaigrettes or drizzle it over Caprese salads.
  • Dips – For a simple dip for crusty bread, blend premium extra virgin olive oil with Italian seasoning. Additionally, you may include it in homemade bean dips like hummus and serve it with crudités.
  • Proteins – Add olive oil to other proteins, like morning scrambled eggs, or use it as a marinade for meats.
  • Baking: Olive oil may lend a delicious richness and depth of flavor to baked items. Replace vegetable oils or a portion of the butter in recipes for muffins, cakes, and cookies with olive oil.

Woods advises preparing your own vinaigrettes with oil. This straightforward vinaigrette can also be used to marinade fish or chicken:

Your favorite fresh herbs, shallots that have been minced, salt, and pepper should be added along with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (balsamic, red wine, white wine, or lemon juice).

Additionally, make sure the EVOO you use to prepare sauces and spreads like chutney, pesto, salsa verde, and chimichurri is of high quality and flavor. These are excellent choices to serve as dips or to mix with grilled meats and vegetables.

The ideal summer appetizer for these warm days is gazpacho. A strong EVOO that packs a flavorful punch is a crucial element. Toss cooked pasta with EVOO, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese for a simple supper.

Intake of olive oil per day

Two tablespoons of olive oil per day, as recommended by Dr. Pratic, is a healthy serving.

Kirkpatrick noted that research has ranged from 1 to 5 tablespoons per day, adding, “I advise my patients to aim for at least 3 tablespoons a day for brain health.”

Dr. Tessier responded when asked if a person might consume too much olive oil on a daily basis:

Dr. Tessier stated, “We did not notice a level at which there was no longer an association, but it is important to remember that few individuals consumed beyond 15 g/day that is, 15,000 mg/day of olive oil.”

We found a clear linear dose-response association between higher daily intake of olive oil and lower risk of fatal dementia,” said Dr. Tessier.


According to a recent study, increasing your intake of olive oil may reduce your risk of passing away from dementia.

According to the research, people who drank more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of passing away from dementia than those who never or infrequently ate it.

The study also revealed a relationship between daily substitution of one teaspoon of olive oil for margarine and mayonnaise and a reduction in dementia-related death risk of 8–14%.

Although olive oil has several health advantages, additional investigation is required to understand how it affects the brain.

You can use olive oil as a cooking oil, a salad dressing ingredient, and a dip base to increase the amount of it in your diet.


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