Life Extension Magazine®
Olives on branch when made in oil could reduce mortality

In The News: October 2018

Olive oil reduces mortality, curcumin improves memory, folate lowers stroke risk, and the latest protocol in the Disease Prevention and Treatment book.

Olive Oil Associated with Lower Mortality Risk

A study reported at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardio-metabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018 revealed a lower risk of dying from any cause among subjects who consumed greater amounts of monounsaturated fat from olive and other vegetable oils, as well as avocados and seeds.*

The study included 29,966 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and 63,412 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. Dietary questionnaires administered every four years provided information concerning the intake and source of monounsaturated fat.

Over the 22-year follow-up period, 20,672 deaths occurred, including 4,588 deaths from heart disease. Subjects whose intake of monounsaturated fatty acids from plants was categorized as high had a 16% lower risk of all-cause mortality in comparison with those whose intake was low.

Editor’s Note: In contrast, having a higher intake of monounsaturated fat from animal sources, including red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products, was associated with a greater risk of death during follow-up.


*Available at: Accessed July 23, 2018.

What you need to know

Consuming monounsaturated fats may lower mortality risk; Clinical trial finds that curcumin may promote memory and mood; Meta-analysis finds that supplementation with folic acid is correlated with a lower risk of stroke; New protocol is added to the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book.

Curcumin Benefits Memory, Mood

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A double-blind trial revealed the positive effect of curcumin on memory and mood in people with mild, age-related cognitive decline.*

The trial included 40 participants between the ages of 50 and 90 years who had mild memory complaints without dementia. Subjects received curcumin or a placebo twice per day for 18 months.

Cognitive tests were administered at the beginning of the study and at six-month intervals. Thirty participants received positron emission tomography (PET scans) at the beginning and end of the treatment period to assess the presence of brain amyloid and tau, which are increased in Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Participants who received curcumin had significant improvements in memory and attention at the end of 18 months, while subjects who received a placebo showed no effects.

Editor’s Note: Memory tests revealed a 28% improvement in the curcumin group and PET scans showed less amyloid and tau in the amygdala and hypothalamus of the brain, which control memory and emotional functions, in comparison with participants who received a placebo.


*Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Mar;26(3):266-277.

Folic Acid Lowers Stroke Risk

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A meta-analysis of 11 trials found an association between supplementation with folic acid and a lower risk of stroke.* Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, an essential B vitamin.

Tao Tian and associates selected 11 randomized trials involving a total of 65,790 cardiovascular disease patients for their analysis.

Participants received folic acid (with or without other B vitamins) and control subjects received a placebo or usual care. Folic acid doses ranged from 0.5 mg to 5 mg of folic acid per day for follow-up periods of 12 to 87 months, during which 2,826 stroke events occurred.

By pooling data from all participants, the researchers determined that those who received folic acid had a 10% lower risk of stroke compared to the control subjects.

Editor’s Note: Both folic acid and folate, along with vitamins B6 and B12, can help lower homocysteine, a potentially toxic amino acid which, when elevated, is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular events. Among men and women who had at least a 25% reduction in homocysteine, supplementation with folic acid was associated with a 15% decrease in stroke risk.


*Am J Med Sci. 2017 Oct;354(4):379-387.

Just-Published Protocol in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

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The scientists and writers at Life Extension® continuously update the online Disease Prevention and Treatment protocol chapters based on the latest research. A recent update is briefly summarized here with complete versions of these chapters and references available online at:

Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome

The human body contains about as many microbial cells as it does human cells. Collectively, these microbes form our microbiome, and maintaining a healthy microbiome is essential to maintaining overall health. Research in recent decades has just begun to uncover the potential health benefits of manipulating the microbiome with dietary and lifestyle modifications and targeted dietary supplementation.

Novel and emerging therapies targeting microbiome health, such as fecal transplants and phage therapy, are beginning to reshape the way doctors approach treating patients with certain diseases, especially those involving the gastrointestinal tract.

Life Extension’s new Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome protocol summarizes the importance of the human microbiome for immunity, digestion, metabolism, and more. The protocol reveals exciting new findings in microbiome research and the benefits of microbiome-targeted interventions and specific probiotics.