Olive Council Scientific Conference at UC Davis

On January 17, a panel of experts will discuss the mechanisms of olive oil and their roles in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the University of California, Davis campus
Jan. 10, 2018
By Daniel Dawson
The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the University of California, Davis campus

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The Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) will unveil its Amer­i­can cam­paign, the Olive Oil Promise, ahead of the Win­ter Fancy Food Show in San Fran­cisco next week.

The Madrid-based orga­ni­za­tion will host a one-day con­fer­ence to dis­cuss olive oil and the pre­ven­tion of chronic dis­eases in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Robert Mon­davi Insti­tute and the Olive Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Davis on Jan­u­ary 17.

The Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil is pleased to present the most recent sci­en­tific infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing olive oil and chronic dis­eases to mem­bers of the sci­en­tific and olive oil com­mu­nity,” Jaime Lillo, the deputy exec­u­tive direc­tor of the IOC, said.

Dan Flynn, the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Olive Cen­ter, said that the IOC approached his orga­ni­za­tion last sum­mer about host­ing the con­fer­ence in the hope of expand­ing aware­ness of the health ben­e­fits of olive oil in the United States.

They saw UC Davis as a desir­able place to host the con­fer­ence given the Olive Center’s national promi­nence and the conference’s poten­tial to expand aware­ness of olive oil health ben­e­fits among Amer­i­can con­sumers,” Flynn said.


Experts in nutri­tion and pre­ven­tive med­i­cine will dis­cuss the role of olive oil and the Mediter­ranean diet in pre­vent­ing chronic dis­eases, many of which are increas­ingly preva­lent in the United States.

We would like to do more (research on the pre­ven­tion of chronic dis­eases at the Olive Cen­ter), but we did deliver a study in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Depart­ment of Nutri­tion and United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture,” Flynn said. The study found that oleo­can­thal in olive oil may reduce blood platelet aggre­ga­tion, which is a seri­ous fac­tor in car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.”

Eighty peo­ple have been invited to attend the con­fer­ence includ­ing influ­encers and thought lead­ers in the areas of health, well­ness, trade and gov­ern­ment affairs, par­tic­u­larly those involved in California’s bur­geon­ing olive oil indus­try,” accord­ing to the IOC. Those who are inter­ested in attend­ing are asked to con­tact Megan Moran at Lane PR.

The panel of experts will dis­cuss the mech­a­nisms of olive oil and their roles in the pre­ven­tion of can­cer, dia­betes, car­dio­vas­cu­lar and neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases.

Este­fanía Toledo from the Uni­ver­sity of Navarra will dis­cuss olive oil in the pre­ven­tion of breast can­cer.

Evi­dence is strongest for the ben­e­fi­cial effects of extra vir­gin olive oil con­sump­tion on breast can­cer pre­ven­tion and, more specif­i­cally, on post­menopausal breast can­cer pre­ven­tion,” Toledo said.

José Luchsinger from the Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity Med­ical Cen­ter, will dis­cuss olive oil and the pre­ven­tion of cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders.

The Mediter­ranean diet pat­tern, includ­ing one of its main com­po­nents, intake of olive oil, has emerged as a promis­ing strat­egy for the pre­ven­tion of Alzheimer’s dis­ease and related demen­tias given its ben­e­fi­cial asso­ci­a­tions with other chronic dis­or­ders, par­tic­u­larly car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease,” he said.

Wal­ter Wil­lett, from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and Miguel Martínez-Gon­za­lez, from the Uni­ver­sity of Navarra, will both dis­cuss the Mediter­ranean diet, olive oil and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

In our pri­mary pre­ven­tion trial, we observed that an energy-unre­stricted Mediter­ranean diet, sup­ple­mented with extra-vir­gin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a sub­stan­tial reduc­tion in the risk of major car­dio­vas­cu­lar events among high-risk per­sons,” Martínez-Gon­za­lez wrote in a study pub­lished by the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine. The results sup­port the ben­e­fits of the Mediter­ranean diet for the pri­mary pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.”

Manuel Franco from the Uni­ver­sity of Alcalá will present how food sys­tems and food envi­ron­ments relate to Mediter­ranean diets and Francesco Visi­oli from the Uni­ver­sity of Padua will dis­cuss olive oil action mech­a­nisms and how olive oil com­pounds inter­act with the body.

Frank Hu, also from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, will focus on the health ben­e­fits of switch­ing to a Mediter­ranean diet when he speaks about olive oil and dia­betes to con­clude the con­fer­ence.

A com­bi­na­tion of sev­eral lifestyle fac­tors [includ­ing eat­ing a diet high in polyun­sat­u­rated fat and low in sat­u­rated and trans fats] was asso­ci­ated with an inci­dence of Type 2 dia­betes that was approx­i­mately 90 per­cent lower than found in women with­out these fac­tors,” he wrote in a report pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine that stud­ied dietary pat­terns and their cor­re­la­tion with Type 2 dia­betes.

The sem­i­nar will be the first IOC sci­en­tific con­fer­ence held in the United States since 2001, when the coun­cil held a child­hood obe­sity con­fer­ence at Rock­e­feller Uni­ver­sity.

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