Half A Tablespoon Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Per Day Can Reduce Fatal Dementia Risk

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New Study Links Olive Oil With 28% Reduced Dementia Risk

Updated 12th November 2023

Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil


  • New study shows half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil daily can decrease risk of fatal dementia by 28%.
  • Replacing a single tablespoon of mayonnaise with extra virgin olive oil can reduce risk by 8 – 14%
  • Health benefits of extra virgin olive oil attributable to monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, polyphenols, oleocanthal and oleuropin.
  • Adds to previous research that extra virgin olive oil could aid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.


New Study Links A Daily Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil With Reduce Fatal Dementia Risk

Incorporating half a tablespoon of olive oil in your diet every day can significantly decrease your risk of fatal dementia, a new study has found.

The research, from a team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, analysed health records of 92,393 people between 1990 and 2018

According to the findings, which are summarised in a Eurekaalert.com press release, just half a tablespoon a day could reduce risk of fatal dementia by 28%, compared to those who consumed none.

By replacing a single tablespoon of another condiment, such as mayonnaise, with olive oil, the risk was reduced by 8-14%.

According to the press release, the inspiration behind the study was the much-hyped benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, based on the traditional eating patterns of people from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy and Spain.

It includes a high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains, plant-based oils such as extra virgin olive oil, a moderate intake of fish and poultry, and even a little red wine with meals, but a limited amount of red and processed meats.

Researchers found the benefits of extra virgin olive oil on the risk of dementia was the case regardless of the person’s wider diet quality — or how closely they adhered to the Mediterranean Diet.

It’s thought the positive impact is attributable to the combination of compounds in olive oil: monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, polyphenols, oleocanthal and oleuropin.

“Our study reinforces dietary guidelines recommending vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations not only support heart health but potentially brain health, as well,” said Anne-Julie Tessier, RD, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia.”

“Some antioxidant compounds in olive oil can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially having a direct effect on the brain,” said Tessier. “It is also possible that olive oil has an indirect effect on brain health by benefiting cardiovascular health.”

The Health Benefits Of Oleuropin In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is well-known for its numerous benefits for overall health. One of the key components that make this healthy oil so beneficial is oleuropin.

Oleuropin, found in abundance in high quality extra virgin olive oil, is a compound that is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to boost immunity and offer protection against certain diseases. Studies have shown that oleuropin in olive oil plays a key role in reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, and aiding in weight loss. When looking for a solution that offers maximum health benefits, it is important to choose extra virgin olive oil that contains high levels of oleuropin.

The Health Benefits of Oleocanthal In Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Oleocanthal is a natural chemical that has potent anti-inflammatory properties, giving it a similar effect to ibuprofen. In fact, oleocanthal works by inhibiting an enzyme that plays a key role in inflammation, which could explain why people who consume this oil have lower rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. By incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your diet, you can benefit from both the overall health benefits of this superfood and the impressive properties of oleocanthal.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Vitamin E

Extra virgin olive oil is praised by many for its versatile taste and aroma, but did you know that it also contains high amounts of vitamin E? Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is essential for maintaining the health of your skin, eyes, and immune system.

The benefits of vitamin E in extra virgin olive oil are plenty, including lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing inflammation, and improving brain function. Incorporating this nutritious oil into your diet can also aid in weight loss and assist in the absorption of other important vitamins and minerals. So, not only does extra virgin olive oil taste great, but it can also contribute to your overall health and well-being.

The findings are in-line with previous studies that have found olive oil to benefit dementia by protecting the brain and improving memory.

Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Dementia Risk

Half A Tablespoon Of Olive Oil Per Day Can Reduce Risk Of Dementia
Half A Tablespoon Of Olive Oil Per Day Can Reduce Risk Of Dementia

In 2019, researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia were reported to discover that extra virgin olive oil could aid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found out that the most common component of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil, boosts the cognitive performance and could prevent Alzheimer’s in genetically modified mice. 

The Alzheimer’s disease mice models were said to have no changes in physical appearance after several months after the experiment. Yet, the mice fed with extra virgin olive oil were mentioned to perform better when they reached the age of 9 months and 12 months old.

This latest research from Edinburgh University adds further strength to the weight of evidence supporting the benefits of a Mediterranean Style Diet to many aspects of our overall health.

So, the olive oil takeaway? For maximum health benefits, choose a quality extra virgin olive oil — and aim or 2-3 tablespoons a day.