One Liter Of Olive Oil a Week Improves Cognitive Decline

January 01, 1970

One Liter of Olive Oil A Week Improves Cognitive Decline


If I were to give you 1 liter (33 oz) of olive oil a week and require you to come in weekly for a refill, you would likely find a way to use it up and actually consume it. That's what they did to 285elderly folks (average age 74) at the University of Navarra (Spain) for 6 years. These older folks were compared to a control group on a "low-fat diet". Guess who did better on cognitive scoring? Yup, the extra olive oil group. Tested every three months, Another sub-group in the study was given 30 grams a day of mixed nuts.

This study has had some complaints about how it was conducted. For example, how do you test the "Mediterranean Diet" in Spain? That's what they eat naturally. Sure enough, the review of consumption showed little change in baseline.

It's the liter a week, or roughly 4.5 ounces of olive oil a day EXTRA that caught my eye. There were statistically significant reductions in cognitive impairment. That's the point here. Worried about your brain and your cognition? Then you should sit up and pay attention to this study.

You may ask why this comes about. The answer is likely twofold. First, you are substituting a healthy fat that is metabolized to butyrate, the brain's naturally favored fuel after glucose. Butyrate (beta-hydroxybutyrate to be specific) is what you naturally make every night after a 12 hour fast. It indicates you have exhausted your easily used glycogen stores, using up the glucose supply, and started to switch over to fat burning. Insulin drops to low levels, and HDL's rise up. The reduction of insulin on your brain is huge! But it may not just be the "healthy fat" that counts. It may actually be the polyphenols that come with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).


But what's the bottom line? Extra olive oil, particularly the cold-pressed, extra virgin stuff that has a layer of sediment on the bottom and burns your throat a bit is loaded with benefit for you. By adding it to your diet, you substitute out carbs which turn into glucose. Glucose drives up insulin, lowers HDLs, and lowers cognition.

One liter a week.


www.What will Work for me. Well, I'm plowing through a California EVOO to see if it tastes as good as Italian. I've been a bit alarmed by the news of the Mafia taking over the olive oil industry in Italy and putting in fake oils as substitutes. I'll try Greek next. And I find I can make my own salad dressing with the salad kits we buy at the grocery. The ingredient list for their dressing includes high fructose corn syrup and canola oil. No benefits there.


References: Natural Medical Jr,  Jr Neurol Neurosurg Psych,  J Nutr Health Aging,  Frontiers in Nutrition,


Pop Quiz


1. Is it possible to do a controlled dietary trial on the Mediterranean diet in Sprain?                 Answer: This has to be a joke, right? What, deliver American Hamburgers to make them sicker? Their natural diet includes tons of olive oil, so you have to give it to them, extra.

2. Extra olive oil does what to your cholesterol pattern?                   Answer: More HDLs.

3. HDL's indicate what?                                       Answer: Lower insulin, meaning less storage mode.

4. What is olive oil's hidden secret to success?                                  Answer: likely not just the oil but the polyphenols in it. That benefit comes mostly from using the first pressed, the so-called Extra Virgin, and done so without heat. That's why olive leaf extra is actually a pretty good antioxidant.

5. Where might you get more olive oil?                                               Answer: Consider a common European habit: 1 T of olive oil as a snack in the middle of the day.


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