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Add Olive Oil, Live Longer

Jun. 22, 2012
Elena Paravantes

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Old Women Gathering in Plaza Corredera, Cordoba | Photo: Michael Cohen

While we know that olive oil can pro­tect from var­i­ous chronic dis­eases, there isn’t much research on its asso­ci­a­tion with mor­tal­ity. In other words can the con­sump­tion of olive oil reduce the risk of death? Spanish researchers set out to answer this ques­tion by exam­in­ing the asso­ci­a­tion between olive oil and mor­tal­ity in the Spanish pop­u­la­tion with over 40,000 par­tic­i­pants.

The par­tic­i­pants were from the Spanish sub-group of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain), a cohort study of the rela­tion­ships between diet and can­cer, as well as other chronic dis­eases, tak­ing place in 10 European coun­tries.

Information was gath­ered from men and women aged 29 – 69 years old, from 5 Spanish regions. The researchers ana­lyzed the asso­ci­a­tion between olive oil and over­all mor­tal­ity as well as mor­tal­ity from spe­cific causes such as car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

After 13 years, researchers fol­lowed up with the par­tic­i­pants and found that indi­vid­u­als who con­sumed olive oil had a lower mor­tal­ity. More specif­i­cally, indi­vid­u­als who con­sumed the most olive oil had a 44 per­cent reduc­tion in mor­tal­ity due to heart dis­ease and a 26 per­cent reduc­tion of over­all mor­tal­ity com­pared to those who did not con­sume any olive oil.

So now we know that olive oil in the diet decreases the chances of dying from all causes but espe­cially from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. This study pro­vides fur­ther evi­dence that replac­ing the fat in your diet with olive oil has a pro­tec­tive effect.



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