Olive oil reduces risk of death from dementia: How much do we need a day?

Research results in thousands of volunteers. How much does its daily consumption protect us?

Harvard University scientists say that a little olive oil a day can reduce the risk of death from dementia.

In a large, multi-year study, they found that about half a tablespoon a day is enough to get this benefit. A similar benefit is seen in those who replace small amounts of other fats with olive oil.

The researchers attribute their results to some protective components of olive oil. However, they clarify that their study only suggests correlation, not causation.

New findings Published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open. As the researchers explain, they analyzed data from 92,383 volunteers who participated in large research projects over decades.

65% of the participants were women. All were over 45 years of age at the start of the study, with an average age of 56.

Every four years, the volunteers filled out detailed nutritional questionnaires in which they reported, among other things, how much olive oil they consumed on a daily basis. Thus, researchers were able to classify its consumption into four categories as follows:

  • Less often than once a month
  • Up to 5 ml per day
  • More than 5-7.7 ml per day
  • More than 7.7 ml per day


After 28 years of follow-up, 37,649 volunteers died. 4751 of them died of dementia.

Compared to those who never consumed olive oil or ate it less than once a month, those who initially consume the most (more than 7.7 ml per day) in general:

  • They were fed better quality food
  • They ate more calories but did not have a higher body mass index (BMI).
  • They were more physically active
  • They were less likely to smoke

These are volunteers There was a also 28% less likely to die from dementia.

according to, variables during the study period 5 grams of margarine or mayonnaise with an equivalent amount of olive oil was 8-14% less likely to die from dementia.

The researchers note in their paper that these benefits were independent of the rest of the diet.

Previous studies monounsaturated fatty acids, which are abundant in olive oil, have been repeatedly linked to better brain health. In addition, olive oil is rich in vitamin E and polyphenols. These substances are antioxidants and protect cells and blood vessels. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect. According to experts, all these properties have a protective effect on the brain.

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