Stop Dementia in Its Tracks with This Simple Daily Habit

Consumption of Olive Oil Linked to Lower Risk of Dementia-Related Death


Recent research published in JAMA Network Open reveals a compelling link between olive oil consumption and a reduced risk of dementia-related deaths. The study followed 92,383 adults over 28 years, finding that those who consumed more than 7 grams of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared to those who rarely or never used olive oil. This significant finding underscores olive oil’s potential role in dietary strategies aimed at decreasing dementia mortality risk.

Detailed Impact of Olive Oil Consumption on Dementia Mortality

Study Insights and Participant Demographics

The JAMA study analyzed the effects of olive oil on brain health among over 90,000 participants, including 60,582 women and 31,801 men, from 1990 to 2018. Participants completed dietary questionnaires every four years, providing detailed data on their consumption of olive oil and other dietary fats.

During the 28-year follow-up, 4,751 participants died from dementia. Those who consumed more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily had a 28% lower risk of dementia-related death compared to those who seldom or never used it. The study also noted that substituting 5 grams of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil daily was linked to an 8-14% reduction in the risk of fatal dementia, independent of diet quality.

Genetic Factors and Broader Health Implications

Significantly, the reduced risk was consistent even after adjusting for the presence of the APOe4 allele—a gene variant associated with higher Alzheimer’s risk and increased cholesterol production. This suggests that olive oil’s benefits on brain health might extend beyond its known cardiovascular advantages, potentially involving antioxidant properties that cross the blood-brain barrier to directly influence brain health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspectives on Olive Oil

Olive Oil in TCM Practices

In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), olive oil is appreciated for its warming and harmonizing properties, which align with TCM’s focus on balancing the body’s internal energy, or Qi. TCM posits that maintaining a balance between the Yin (cool, passive) and Yang (warm, active) energies is essential for good health, including cognitive functions. Olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, is thought to nourish the Yin, thus supporting brain health and potentially counteracting the ‘Dampness’ that TCM links to cognitive decline.

Integrating Ear Seeds for Enhanced Cognitive Health

TCM Approaches with Ear Seeds

Following the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, ear seeds represent a non-invasive method used to stimulate specific points on the ear that correspond to various body parts and functions. These tiny seeds from the Vaccaria plant are placed on the ear and held in place with adhesive tape. According to TCM, stimulating these points can enhance mental clarity and cognitive function by promoting the flow of Qi, potentially mitigating risks associated with cognitive decline such as those highlighted in the olive oil study.

Author: P. Sze

P. Sze P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. S he also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

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