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Long-term benefits of olive oil supported by US research for the first time

Professor Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Full Professor of the University of Navarra and researcher of CIBEROBN, is one of the authors of work, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

FotoCedida/MartaGuasch-Ferré, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González and Frank Hu

11 | 01 | 2022

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, including the Full Professor of Preventive Medicine of the School of Medicine of the University of Navarra -and researcher of the CIBEROBN- Miguel Á. Martínez-González, associate for the first time in the United States a higher intake of olive oil with a lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality. The study, graduate "Consumption of Olive Oil and Risk of Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among U.S. Adults" and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), also reveals that replacing other fats with an equivalent amount of olive oil reduces premature mortality.

"The research was developed using data of the best known and most reliable American programs of study in nutrition, which are the cohort of nurses, with 60,582 female participants, and that of health professionals, with 31,801 male volunteers. The work is led from Harvard University and has a follow-up of 28 years, during which more than 36,000 deaths were verified and their cause identified," says Professor Martínez-González, Full Professor visitor at the same University since 2016.

According to researcher, "one might be tempted to think that olive oil consumption alone is a global marker of healthy living. However, the wealth of information collected from these participants every two years, including an extensive nutritional evaluation repeated every 4 years, as well as the many other aspects of per diem expenses and lifestyle studied, allow us to identify with validity what is the long-term effect of olive oil consumption itself deadline , once participants are matched for age and a multitude of other factors".

Reduction of cardiovascular mortality, cancer or neurodegenerative disease

The work was led by researchers Marta Guasch-Ferré and Frank Hu. The Rovira i Virgili University also participated. Olive oil consumption was compared in different categories and it was observed that, other things being equal, those who consumed the most olive oil showed relative reductions of 19% in cardiovascular mortality, 17% in cancer mortality, 29% in neurodegenerative disease and 18% in respiratory mortality. Martínez-González adds that "it was also observed that replacing 10 grams a day of other fats, such as margarine, butter, mayonnaise or dairy fats, with olive oil, was associated with an 8-34% lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality".

These results endorse those already obtained for olive oil and the Mediterranean per diem expenses in other pioneering studies in Spain, such as the SUN study (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra), with 23,000 participants and the essay PREDIMED (Prevención con per diem expenses Mediterránea), with more than 7,000 participants and a follow-up of only 5 years. Although these and previous programs of study already recommended olive oil and the Mediterranean per diem expenses for cardiovascular prevention, "they could not identify such a direct long-term relationship deadline between olive oil consumption and reduction of premature mortality", says the doctor. "The new US results are instrumental in confirming the longer-term preventive effects deadline on premature mortality. As it is such a robust work , it undoubtedly helps to reinforce the nutritional advice we have been giving," he adds.

"This is scientific evidence that we have already explained in detail and in a practical way in informative books such as PREDIMED: Date el gusto de comer sano (EUNSA, 2006), Salud a ciencia cierta ( Planeta, 2018) or ¿Qué come? (Planeta, 2020), to which these important results and those of much-needed future research will undoubtedly be added," he concludes.