Research Papers

Olive Oil Reduces Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and All-Cause Mortality

Summary:The mediterranean diet receives substantial attention regarding cardiovascular and overall health and is the most widely tested dietary pattern. It is also a highly palatable, accessible and sustainable approach to eating. This paper is a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available evidence on the association between olive oil consumption, one of the main reasons the mediterranean diet receives so much attention, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), cancer or all-cause mortality. The results showed that a 16% reduced risk of CVD was present each additional 25 grams per day of olive oil was consumed. Olive oil consumption was also associated with a lower risk of having T2D as well as all-cause mortality. The results did not show any positive association between olive consumption and cancer, however more research is needed in the area before conclusively saying there is no association.

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Background: Some large prospective studies on olive oil consumption and risk of chronic disease suggested protective effects. Objective: We conducted an outcome-wide systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing the association between olive oil consumption and the primary risk of 4 different outcomes: cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, type 2 diabetes (T2D) or all-cause mortality through January 2022. Methods: Thirty-six studies were included in the systematic review and twenty-seven studies (24 prospective cohorts and 3 different reports from one RCT) were assessed in 4 quantitative random-effects meta-analyses. They included a total of 806,203 participants with 49,223 CVD events; 1,285,064 participants with 58,892 incident cases of cancer; 680,239 participants with 13,389 incident cases of T2D; and 733,420 participants with 174,081 deaths. Olive oil consumption was most frequently measured with validated food frequency questionnaires. Studies follow-up ranged between 3.7 and 28 years. Results: A 16% reduced risk of CVD (relative risk [RR]: 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.76 to 0.94), standardized for every additional olive oil consumption of 25 g/d was found. No significant association with cancer risk was observed (RR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.86 to 1.03, per 25 g/d). Olive oil consumption was associated with a 22% lower relative risk of T2D (RR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.69 to 0.87, per 25 g/d) without evidence of heterogeneity. Similarly, it was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (RR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.93, per 25 g/d). Only the results for T2D were homogeneous. Specific sources of heterogeneity for the other 3 outcomes were not always apparent. Conclusions: Prospective studies supported a beneficial association of olive oil consumption with CVD, T2D and all-cause mortality, but they did not show any association with cancer risk.

Article Publication Date: 10/10/2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.10.001

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