Story at a glance

  • Researchers from Harvard published the results of a 28-year study that included more than 90,000 participants.
  • People who consumed higher amounts of olive oil, more than seven grams per day, had a reduction in risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Researchers compared the use of olive oil against margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat.

Researchers from Harvard may have dispelled negative perceptions of oil, publishing a new study that found people who consumed more olive oil lowered their risk of premature death and multiple diseases. 

Published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers revealed the results of a 28-year study made up of more than 90,000 participants. All of them were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study and over the course of multiple decades, completed dietary questionnaires every four years. 

Researchers asked participants how often they used olive oil in their salad dressings, food, bread or in baking or frying. The results of the study showed that those people in the highest category of olive oil consumption, defined as more than seven grams per day, had a 19 percent lower risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality.  

Those in the high olive oil consumption category also had a 17 percent lower risk of cancer mortality, 29 percent lower risk of neurodegenerative mortality and an 18 percent lower risk of respiratory mortality, compared to those who never or rarely consumed olive oil. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news. 


Researchers compared the use of olive oil against margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat. 

“Clinicians should be counseling patients to replace certain fats, such as margarine and butter, with olive oil to improve their health. Our study helps make specific recommendations that will be easy for patients to understand and hopefully implement into their diets,” Marta Guasch-Ferré, a senior research scientist at Harvard Chan School, said in a statement. 

The researchers behind the olive oil study said this was the first long-term observational study on olive oil consumption and mortality in the U.S., as previous research on olive oil and health mostly focused on populations from Europe and the Mediterranean.  

Susanna Larsson, a corresponding author of the study, wrote in an editorial that the association of olive oil consumption and risk of neurodegenerative disease mortality is especially novel, given Alzheimer's disease is the major neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia.  

Larsson wrote, “considering the lack of preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and the high morbidity and mortality related to this disease, this finding, if confirmed, is of great public health importance.” 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA 

NEW STUDY SAYS AIR KNOCKS DOWN COVID-19 INFECTION RATE BY 90 PERCENT 

ROBIN WILLIAMS’ DAUGHTER HAS WARNING FOR FANS MOURNING BOB SAGET 

YALE, GEORGETOWN, 14 OTHER TOP COLLEGES SUED FOR ALLEGED COLLUSION 

34 RESCUED FROM FLOATING CHUNK OF ICE OFF GREEN BAY SHORE 

SOUTH AFRICAN SCIENTIST THINKS SHE MAY HAVE SOLVED THE MYSTERY OF LONG COVID-19 

Published on Jan 14, 2022