In February 2020 researchers from the USA, China and Spain published the results of their study to assess whether olive oil intake is associated with cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke risk. A total of 61,181 women and 31,797 men, with no history of cancer, heart disease, and stroke, were involved in the study. Dietary information was collected via food frequency questionnaires at the start of the study and then every 4 years. During a follow-up period of 24 years there were 9,797 diagnoses of cardiovascular disease, 6,034 diagnoses of coronary heart disease and 3,802 diagnoses of stroke. Results showed that, compared with non-consumers, those with a higher olive oil intake (over 1/2 tablespoon/day or over 7g/day) had 14% lower risk of cardiovascuar disease and an 18% lower risk of coronary heart disease. No significant associations were seen for stroke. Replacing 5g/day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise or dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil was associated with a 5-7% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. No significant associations were seen when olive oil was compared with other plant oils combined. An analysis in a proportion of individuals showed that a higher olive oil intake was associated with lower levels of circulating inflammatory biomarkers and a better lipid profile.
Guasch-Ferré M et a. Olive Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk in U.S. Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]