Olive oil is rich in various
antioxidants (vitamin E, polyphenols, ) which play a positive, biological role
in eliminating free radicals, the molecules involved in some chronic diseases
and ageing, and in extending life expectancy, which has been demonstrated in
several epidemiological studies.
Many ageing-related diseases are
influenced by diet, in particular osteoporosis and deteriorated cognitive
Osteoporosis is a reduction
in bone tissue mass that increases the risk of fractures. There are two types.
Type I occurs in middle-aged, post-menopausal women and type II in the
Olive oil and
Olive oil appears to have a
favourable effect on bone calcification, and bone mineralisation is better the
more olive oil is consumed. It helps calcium absorption, thereby playing an
important part during the period of growth and in the prevention of
Olive oil and cognitive
Olive-oil-rich diets may
prevent memory loss in healthy elderly people. Less possibility of suffering
age-related cognitive decline has been observed in a study conducted on elderly
people administered diets containing a large amount of monounsaturated fats, the
case of olive oil particularly.
Exactly how large quantities of these
fats prevent cognitive decline is not known. However, this effect is believed to
occur because the monounsaturated fatty acids may help to maintain the structure
of the brain cell membranes since the demand for these acids appears to grow
The same study observed that the quantity of olive oil
consumed was inversely proportional to age-related cognitive decline and memory
loss, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.