Many ageing-related diseases are influenced by diet, in particular osteoporosis and deteriorated cognitive function.
WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?
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 elderly.
OLIVE OIL AND OSTEOPOROSIS
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 osteoporosis.
OLIVE OIL AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION
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 during ageing.
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.
It has been documented that olive oil intake bolsters the immune system against external attacks from microorganisms, bacteria or viruses.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory immune disease of unknown causes that affects the joints. Genes, infective factors, hormones and diet have been suggested as possible associates in its onset. Although some studies had suggested that olive oil could help to alleviate its symptoms they did not provide confirmation of such a protective effect.
It has been demonstrated that olive oil has an effect in preventing the formation of blood clots and platelet aggregation. It has been observed that by avoiding excessive blood coagulation, olive-oil-rich diets can attenuate the effect of fatty foods in encouraging blood clot formation, thus contributing to the low incidence of heart failure in countries where olive oil is the principal fat consumed.
Olive oil is a nutrient of great biological value. Like all other fats and oils it is high in calories (9 cal per gram), which could make one think that it would contribute to obesity.
Oils primarily differ in types of fats that contain:
|Amounts in grams of each type of fat per 100 grams of oil|
|Monounsaturated , the more heart-healthy||Saturated , the less healthy for the heart||Polyunsaturated , degrade quickly during frying|
Being rich olive oil (between 61 and 83 percent) in oleic acid, monounsaturated fat (having a double bond in the chain of 18 carbons) versus linoleic having two double bonds or palmitic not have double bonds, is the reason for being good for health. Olive Oil is the healthiest product of the history of food. Investigations support and show that consumption has positive health effects.