Dietary Olive Oil Might Slow the Aging Process

The United States spends $8,713 per person per year on health care, which is double that of most developed countries. Yet, we are 34th in life expectancy, trailing countries like Lebanon, Korea, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and Chile. Of the countries in the top 10, seven are Mediterranean countries (Spain, Andorra, Italy, San Marino, France, Monaco and Cyprus). Many experts think the Mediterranean diet— high in olive oil, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and red wine— might help people in these countries live longer. A review of literature led by Lucía Fernández del Río from the University of Córdoba in Spain concluded that olive oil consumption might be the key to their longer lives. Olive oil works by stabilizing genes, protecting cell telomeres (prevents DNA breakdown), preserving metabolic control and protecting stem cells. (Molecules, 21: 163, 2016)

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