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Increased olive oil intake reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature mortality

University researchers participate in the largest review of epidemiological programs of study on the benefits of its consumption.


03 | 11 | 2022

A higher intake of olive oil leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature mortality. This is the conclusion of the largest systematic review of epidemiological evidence to date, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, which has been carried out by researchers from CIBEROBN, CIBERESP, University of Navarra, high school Public Health of Navarra, Autonomous University of Madrid and Spanish Food Safety Agency

To do this they analyzed a set of prospective epidemiological programs of study that included, in total, 806,203 participants in whom over the course of follow-up 49,223 cases of cardiovascular disease developed; 680,239 participants in whom 13,389 new cases of diabetes subject 2 developed while being observed; and 733,420 participants of whom 174,081 died. 

"This study represents the largest evaluation study to date on the effects of olive oil consumption on health. The contribution made to these results by several original epidemiological programs of study conducted by Spanish researchers, such as the EPIC-Spain, SUN ("Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra") cohorts or the ENRICA study, representative of the general Spanish population, is very relevant", explains the coordinator of this review, Miguel Ángel Martínez, researcher principal of CIBEROBN and Full Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra. 

Only programs of study was included with design prospective, which first collected validated olive oil consumption from each participant and then followed these hundreds of thousands of volunteers for years to assess the effect of olive oil on their long-term health deadline.

11% lower mortality risk

The second author of work, Carmen Sayón-Orea, adds that "the effect was assessed for each additional 25 grams per day of consumption. Only results that matched participants by age and a multitude of other factors were considered, to specifically verify the effect of olive oil other factors being equal. A relative risk reduction of 16% in cardiovascular disease, 22% in the risk of diabetes and 11% in the risk of mortality was found, always for each additional 25 grams per day of olive oil". 

This systematic review endorses the findings of the Spanish essay PREDIMED (Prevention with Mediterranean per diem expenses ), with more than 7,000 participants and a five-year follow-up, the largest nutrition essay carried out in Europe. These results allow recommending the consumption of olive oil as they are based on the best scientific evidence.