Dementia and Alzheimer’s has become the leading cause of death in the UK—but many of those deaths could have been prevented by a simple change to the diet.
Consuming up to a tablespoon of olive oil every day—either sprinkling the oil on a salad or drinking it directly—reduces the rate of dementia-related deaths by as much as 28 percent, researchers from Harvard University have found. The effect is amplified if the oil replaces similar amounts of margarine or a mayonnaise, the researchers found.
Olive oil is good for the brain as well as the heart, the researchers discovered after they tracked more than 90,000 Americans for 30 years. During the study, 4749 of them died from Alzheimer’s or dementia, but those who were consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil every day were 28 percent less likely to die from the disease compared to others who never ate the oil. Those who consumed just a teaspoon of the oil had a 14 percent lowered risk.