Dementia is a cognitive impairment that affects the memory, thinking, and decision-making ability of individuals. The condition is estimated to affect the lives of 14 million people by 2060, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, daily consumption of at least 7 g of olive oil was linked to reduced risk of death from dementia-related illnesses.

The findings were made after evaluating a database of more than 60,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 31,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were followed up for around 30 years. The researchers examined the dietary patterns of the participants, including the amount of daily consumption of olive oil.

After analyzing the cause of death of the participants, 4,751 deaths were found to be related to dementia. During the follow-up, participants who consumed at least half a teaspoon of olive oil every day had 28% less risk of death from dementia-related diseases.

“In 2 large US prospective cohorts of men and women, we found that participants who consumed more than 7 g/d of olive oil had 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared with participants who never or rarely consumed olive oil. These findings provide evidence to support dietary recommendations advocating for the use of olive oil and other vegetable oils as a potential strategy to maintain overall health and prevent dementia,” the researchers wrote.

The study noted that those who had daily consumption of olive oil, used less butter, mayonnaise, and other vegetable oils, which is believed to have given them dementia-related benefits. For those following the Mediterranean diet, olive oil in the diet reduced inflammation related to other factors, which helped them cut the risk of dementia.

“In US adults, higher olive oil intake was associated with a lower risk of dementia-related mortality, irrespective of diet quality. Beyond heart health, the findings extend the current dietary recommendations of choosing olive oil and other vegetable oils for cognitive-related health,” the researchers wrote.