Just over half a table- spoon of olive oil daily lowers risk of dying of dementia

In the News: Just Over Half a Tablespoon of Olive Oil Daily May Lower Dementia Death Risk 28%

Statins may reduce cardiovascular risk in HIV patients; some antacid drugs raise dementia risk; higher antioxidant intake linked to lower gout risk; just over half a table- spoon of olive oil daily lowers risk of dying of dementia.

Scientifically reviewed by Gary Gonzalez, MD, in January 2024.

Just Over Half a Tablespoon of Olive Oil Daily May Lower Dementia Death Risk 28%

A new study suggests that regular olive oil consumption may lower the risk of dying from dementia.

The study findings were presented at NUTRITION 2023, the flagship annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.*

Participants included 60,582 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study and 31,801 men in the Health Professionals' Follow-Up Study, between 1990 and 2018. Every four years individuals responded to questionnaires providing information about foods they ate, including olive oil and other fats.

During more than 28 years of follow-up, there were 4,749 deaths from dementia. Consuming more than seven grams per day of olive oil (just over half a tablespoon) was associated with a 28% lower risk of fatal dementia compared to consuming it rarely or not at all.

Editor's Note: "The lower risk of dementia mortality with olive oil intake was independent of overall diet quality, suggesting unique brain health benefits of olive oil," the study found.


Some Heartburn Medication Found to Increase Dementia Risk

Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) has been associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life, according to a study published in Neurology.*

PPIs are drugs used to treat heartburn and acid-related disorders that work by reducing stomach acid production.

Using data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study from 1987 to 2017, researchers evaluated the use of PPIs with dementia risk in 5,712 dementia-free participants, (mean age 75.4±5.1 years).

Results showed that using PPIs for more than 4.4 years was associated with a 33% increased risk of dementia later in life, compared to individuals who didn't use PPIs.

Editor's note: "PPIs were dispensed over 115 million times in 2016," the authors noted.

*Neurology. 2023 Aug 9:10.1212

High Antioxidant Intake Lowers Risk of Gout

A study found a reduced risk of gout among men and women with a high antioxidant intake in comparison with those whose intake was low.*

Participants included 26,117 adults aged 40 to 59 enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles from 2007 to 2018. Questionnaire responses were evaluated for the intake of the antioxidants selenium, zinc, vitamins A, C and E, and the carotenoids, to calculate the composite dietary antioxidant index (CDAI).

Men and women whose CDAI was among the top 25% had an adjusted 35% lower risk of gout than those whose CDAI was among the lowest 25%.

Oxidative stress, which is decreased by antioxidants, and inflammation, have been found to be higher in gout patients than in those without the disease.

Editor's Note: Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by elevated uric acid that leads to the formation of painful sodium urate crystals in joints, tendons and surrounding tissues.

* Biol Res Nurs. 2023 Aug 24:10998004231198166.

Statins May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in HIV Infection

Statins could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.*

The study included 7,769 people with HIV, averaging 50 years old, who had a low-to-moderate risk of cardiovascular disease and were receiving antiretroviral therapy.

Participants took either a placebo or 4 mg per day of pitavastatin calcium (a statin drug).

Researchers tracked the occurrence of major cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial ischemia, or cardiovascular death.

After 5.1 years, there was a 35% lower risk of a major cardiovascular event in the pitavastatin group, compared to the placebo group.

Editor's Note: The statin group also experienced a 30% reduction in LDL cholesterol. Statins also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce cardiovascular risks.

*N Engl J Med. 2023; 389:687-699.