What better place to ponder the benefits of the Mediterranean diet than from the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea where I made this video blog.

The Mediterranean diet has certainly garnered a lot of attention, and with good reason. Adherence to this way of eating has been clearly associated with reduced risk for a variety of medical conditions including coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even dementia.

In a recent report, researchers again demonstrated a significant reduction in risk for cognitive decline in people following the Mediterranean diet. However, when a subgroup added high amounts of olive oil to their regimen, dementia risk was even further reduced.

In this entry, I discuss some of olive oil’s health enhancing properties that may explain why we should consider it to be a brain “super food.”

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  • Diana Shine Furey

    I am curious…how did they measure in 4 years that the risk for cognitive decline had been reduced. Also, can you note the actual study or paper?

  • Candice Oligney

    Hello Diana,
    Please follow the link below to view the study:

  • Tim Tim Ferrer

    Dear Dr. Perlmutter,

    Please address this very important question for me and for your other thousands of followers.

    If carb./glutton is so bad then how come hundreds of millions of people in the Far Eastern countries with their high carb. diet, white steam rice with almost every meal, manage to have long life span and active life?


    • 123z

      I lived in the Philippines, and your observation is certainly correct. However, it seemed to me that they ate virtually no carbohydrates in addition to rice. Possibly there is something different about rice carbohydrates. Also it seems that the total caloric intake of these people is minimal. That also may have something to do with it.

  • Joe Texan

    Question – I have been using alpha-lopic acid at your recommendation and after a year it has cured my toe neuropathy, but Sherry Rogers, M.D. says that r-polic acid is better because it is more bioavailable. What’s your opinion?

    • isofblue

      what was the answer, Joe?

    • Patty

      Vitamin shoppe has the r chain type– order online

  • lynette mayo

    Quality Olive Oil is impossible to find, pls. post some quality brands. I have been using Barini, it is $10.00 for a small bottle !

    • Joni Knox

      I would like to know, too, as I use olive oil usually two times a day on salads. I would like to get a bigger size than the usual 1 liter…. also, not sure the Costco 2 liter container is really all olive oil, though the cost is more favorable than others I’ve come across.

      Help! Need an affordable REAL olive oil product.

  • Natalie

    I wonder how I should eat 1 litre of olive oil per week. I use it for cooking and for dressings of course but that is clearly not enough! Should I drink it?
    Also, I only use extra virgin olive oil if I don’t heat it. I cannot remember why but I am under the impression that I should use ‘regular’ rather than extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

    • Jesse Sewell

      I find that I can get a lot more olive oil if I eat Feta and olives that are packed in oil as a snack. They are drenched in oil and I eat them with a spoon that will collect a small amount of the oil with each spoonful. Healthy and delicious snack to keep around.

  • Beeyl

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years. I can deal with fish but just the smell of meat turns me off of it. Will eating fish only meet the requirements of this diet.

  • Amar

    Dear Dr. Perlmutter,

    How much Vitamin D would you recommend for a 20 year old male per day or month? What levels of vitamin D in the blood are optimal?

    • David Perlmutter

      With my patients I target a level of around 79-80 nanograms per milliliter. This may require 5000 IU daily, more, or even less. Start by getting tested, to know your level.

      • Amar

        Ok thanks. Last time I was tested I was at 60ng/ml. I thought this was a little high so I cut back on supplements. The National Institute of Health also claims that above 50ng/ml is probably too high and that 4,000IU per day is an upper limit for adults. However, I also heard that the bodies natural antibiotic, catechin, is not manufactured until levels are at 32ng/ml. I was wondering what you think on this issue.

        Here is the link to the NIH recommendations:


        • liz.ger.quinn932

          Apparently a significant math error was made in the IOM’s (Institute of Medicine) calculation of the recommended dosage, from which the NIH posting drew its info. You can google for the math error info or read it here in one of Canada’s national newspapers. It’s well-explained. There are several other postings on Google.


          • Amar

            Ok, the link does not claim the NIH took their info from the IOC. Also it claims high levels of vitamin D are dangerous, which I am assuming is over 50ng/dl as stated by the NIH. The NIH also claims an upper limit of 4,000IU/day to avoid dangerous levels. In addition, it only recommends 1,000 IU a day which is lower than I am taking. I read a study that showed 2,000 IU a day for 5 months in Antarctica only got blood levels up to 29ng/ml.

          • liz.ger.quinn932

            Well, really Vitamin D should be taken via one of the combination supplements that includes Vitamin K2. That is protective of calcium ending up in arteries and kidneys and facilitates that calcium going to bones instead. Oncologists will recommend much higher D levels in cancer care. The thing is that everyone is so unique and when you live also affects your levels. It’s good to test a few times throughout the year to see what your levels are at that given moment given the season and your son exposure. The amount needed to keep one person’s level in the mid range of normal might be very different then the amount needed for the next person to keep their vitamin D in the mid range of normal, even within a family living under the same sun conditions. The dose really has to be individualized.

      • Joni Knox

        BUT do you ever also look at active D (1,25) along with storage D (O,25-Hydroxy)?

        What if one is over lab range for active D (aka 1,25-D or calcitriol)?

  • Joni Knox

    I read about the Swank Diet for multiple sclerosis, and also the McDougall Diet ( drleonardcoldwell.com/2015/08/05/the-multiple-sclerosis-and-diet-saga/ ), but both seem contrary to the Mediterranean Diet with all the olive oil…. is there any comparison? Benefit??

    Please reply as it relates to multiple sclerosis and which is an advantage. Thank you, kindly.

  • John Brailsford