Eating more olive oil linked to longer life span: Harvard study
Consuming a small amount of olive oil every day may help you live longer, according to an observational study.
Researchers pooled the results of two large Harvard studies (the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study) that included more than 92,000 healthy men and women in the United States who reported details about their health and dietary habits every two years.
The results showed that those who consumed more than ½ tablespoon of olive oil per day (more than 7 grams) had a 19% lower risk of dying from any cause than those who rarely or never had olive oil.
Looking at specific conditions, the researchers found the olive oil group also had a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 17% lower risk of dying from cancer, and a 29% lower risk of dying from a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers suggested that substituting olive oil for unhealthier fats could have a more significant effect. They estimated that replacing 10 grams per day of fats like margarine, butter, and mayonnaise with the same amount of olive oil could lower the risk of overall death and disease by as much as 34%.
The study was published online Jan. 12, 2022, by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study was observational and doesn’t prove that olive oil lengthens life. But other studies have found a link between olive oil consumption and reduced risks of cardiovascular disease. Researchers speculate that olive oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may play a role in protecting health.