UC Davis Researcher's Rant Continues: Olive Oil 'Does Not Promote Health'

A University of California at Davis researcher and a faculty member of its Medical Center, Rosane Oliveira, said olive oil “does not actually promote health in and of itself.”

Jun. 7, 2017
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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A University of California at Davis researcher and a fac­ulty mem­ber of its Medical Center, Rosane Oliveira, is con­tin­u­ing her one-woman cru­sade against olive oil in an arti­cle posted yes­ter­day on the school’s Integrative Medicine depart­ment blog.

Olive oil does not actu­ally pro­mote health in and of itself.- Rosane Oliveira, UC Davis

In addi­tion to claim­ing there is too much olive oil” in what she views as today’s ver­sion of the Mediterranean diet,” Oliveira stated, olive oil does not actu­ally pro­mote health in and of itself.”

In a con­tro­ver­sial post last year, the researcher wrote, the Mediterranean diet is health­ful in spite of olive oil — not because of it!”


Oliveira does not dis­tin­guish between extra vir­gin olive oil and refined grades in her lat­est cri­tique. Not once in the post is extra vir­gin’ men­tioned, leav­ing read­ers to won­der if she took into con­sid­er­a­tion the count­less health ben­e­fits attrib­uted to the clas­si­fi­ca­tion by the med­ical com­mu­nity.

Extra vir­gin olive oil is truly unique as no other food has the abil­ity to mit­i­gate so many risk fac­tors for chronic dis­eases,” noted Brown University’s Mary Flynn. Those fac­tors include oxi­da­tion, blood lev­els of insulin and glu­cose, blood pres­sure, and LDL cho­les­terol, to name just a few.

Last year, UC Davis Olive Center exec­u­tive direc­tor Dan Flynn told Olive Oil Times his colleague’s blog post needed to be weighed against the body of research that has sup­ported the inclu­sion of olive oil in a health­ful diet. Universities accom­mo­date a wide range of inde­pen­dent thinkers, and we wel­come the dia­logue. The sci­en­tific evi­dence in favor of the health ben­e­fits of olive oil is far stronger than the cita­tions offered in (Oliveira’s) blog,” he noted.

Last year’s post by Oliveira drew a string of crit­i­cism from around the world. In respond­ing to the crit­ics, Oliveira con­ceded that extra vir­gin olive oil was bet­ter than other oils,” but said she was uncon­vinced that EVOO is bet­ter than no oil at all.

To imply there were no dif­fer­ences after the inter­ven­tions is prob­a­bly the most egre­gious false state­ment in (Oliveira’s post), and the author has an appalling inabil­ity to read a jour­nal arti­cle,” said Flynn about Oliveira’s ear­lier arti­cle.

The seem­ingly extreme view to opt out” of what is con­sid­ered among the world’s most ben­e­fi­cial foods caused sur­prise among some read­ers of Oliveira’s blog and this page, espe­cially under the logo of the University of California at Davis, which is the home of the UC Davis Olive Center, an inter­na­tion­ally renowned research cen­ter which pro­duces its own EVOO from trees grown on its Central Valley cam­pus.

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