Olive Oil for a Longer Life?

Olive oil linked to a longer life span in new study

(RxWiki News) Eating a small amount of olive oil every day may help you live longer, a new study suggests.

That's because study participants who consumed a small daily amount of olive oil lived longer on average than those who didn't have much olive oil in their diets.

And while this study only showed a link — and not a cause-and-effect relationship — between olive oil intake and a longer life, it's likely to make some of us reach for the olive oil instead of the ranch next time we have a salad.

To conduct this research, study authors examined diet questionnaire results from more than 90,000 people over almost 30 years. Every four years, study participants completed a survey about their daily eating habits. They were all cancer- and heart disease-free at the time of the study.

The study participants who ate more than half a tablespoon of olive oil each day were 19 percent less likely than other participants to die of any cause during the study.

That's for any cause of death, but the study also looked at condition-specific causes of death. Those who consumed olive oil daily were:

  • 29 percent less likely to die of Alzheimer's or another neurodegenerative disease
  • 19 percent less likely to die of heart disease
  • 17 percent less likely to die of cancer

These study authors also analyzed the prospect of replacing other types of fats — such as animal and dairy fats — with olive oil. They found that doing so with just 10 grams of fats per day could lower your overall risk of death by 34 percent.

It's important to note that diets can have differing effects on different people. That's why it's always best to talk to your health care provider about the healthiest diet for you, as well as your risk for particular health conditions.

This study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Information on study funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.