Higher consumption of olive oil is associated with a lower risk of mortality

For years, science has analyzed how the olive oil consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but its relationship to total and cause-specific mortality was unclear.

ONE new study published on Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that the consumption of more than seven grams (just over half a tablespoon) of olive oil per day is associated with a lower risk of mortality from both cardiovascular disease and Cancer and neurodegenerative and respiratory pathologies.

“This is the first prospective study in three American cohorts that shows that participants who consume more olive oil have a lower risk of mortality from all causes and for specific reasons,” he explains to SINC. Marta Guasch-Ferré, from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

Our results support current recommendations to increase your intake of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils. Doctors should advise that certain fats be replaced with olive oil to improve your health

Marta Guasch-Ferré (Harvard)

“We also found that in what-if analyses, consuming olive oil instead of Margarine, Butter, Mayonnaise or other animal fats is associated with a lower risk of mortality, especially cardiovascular”, he adds.

The team, of which the Spaniards are also part Miguel Angel Martínez-González (University of Navarra) and Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Rovira and Virgili University), analyzed 60,582 women and 31,801 men who did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline (1990). During the 28 years of follow-up, their diet was evaluated every four years.

Thus, the scientific group found that olive oil consumption increased from about 1.6 grams/day in 1990 to about 4 grams/day in 2010, while margarine consumption decreased from about 12 grams/day in 1990 to about 4 grams/day in 2010. grams/day in 2010. Consumption of other fats remained stable.

“Our results support current recommendations to increase the intake of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils,” continues Guasch-Ferré. “Doctors should advise that certain fats be replaced with olive oil to improve your health.”

“The data obtained helps to make more specific recommendations, which will be easier for patients to understand and, hopefully, implement in their diets”, insists the researcher.

Disaggregated results

In the nearly three decades of follow-up, 36,856 deaths. People with higher olive oil consumption tended to be more physically active, had Southern European or Mediterranean descent, were less likely to smoke, and had higher consumption of fruits and vegetables compared to those with lower olive oil consumption. The average total intake in the highest category was about 9 grams/day and included 5% of participants.

When the team compared those who ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ consumed olive oil, those in the highest consumption category had a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality, 17% less cancer mortality, 29% less neurodegenerative mortality, and 18% less respiratory mortality.

The study also found that replacing 10 grams/day of other fats, such as margarine, butter, mayonnaise and milk fats, with olive oil was associated with an 8 to 34% lower risk of general and cause-specific mortality. No significant associations were found when replacing olive oil with other vegetables.

Study limitations

In an attached editorial, Susanna C. Larsson, associate professor of epidemiology at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, states: “This study and previous ones found that consumption of olive oil can have health benefits.” However, for the doctor there are still several doubts.

Are the associations causal or spurious? Does the consumption of olive oil protect only from certain cardiovascular diseases or also from other pathologies and causes of death? How much is needed to get a protective effect? “More research is needed to answer these questions,” emphasizes Larsson.

“Our study cohort was predominantly a non-Hispanic white population of healthcare professionals, which should minimize potentially confounding socioeconomic factors, but may limit generalization as this population may be more likely to have a healthy lifestyle”, highlights Guasch-Ferré.

“It is possible that a higher consumption of olive oil is a marker of a healthier diet in general and of a higher socioeconomic level. However, even after adjusting for these and other socioeconomic factors, our results remained largely the same.”

Source: SYNC

Rights: Creative Commons.


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