In January 2018, the IOC partnered with the UC Davis Olive Center to present the International Conference on Olive Oil and Prevention of Chronic Disease.
Dan: The International Olive Council is the world leader in olive trade and promotion and to have them choose UC Davis is a great honor for us.
Jamie: International Olive Council is an intergovernmental organization. It means it’s an international organization where our members are countries. We have 42 countries which represent 98 percent of the olive oil production.
Our goal is to span the production of olive oil and the consumption and the trade of olive oil and table oils.
Manuel Franco: The International Olive Council was able to invite many of us researchers from different areas talking about different perspectives on how olive oil production and the Mediterranean diet relates to health issues and public health issues
The one-day seminar featured experts from around the world discussing the role of olive oil in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
Frank Hu: This meeting is very interesting because it brings together who are working in different areas of nutrition and also brings together people who are producing olive oil.
Ender: I think people know olive oil is very important for health, but many people don’t know the reason. In that case we hope to give the correct message in the correct place. I was personally involved at Columbia University along with a team of other investigators in studying the Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. And of course the Mediterranean diet is characterized a great deal by a higher intake of olive oil.
Miguel: Slowly people are learning that olive oil is the best fat you can use to cook your food or to dress your vegetables, and so again, as you said, slowly people are becoming more aware of the importance of using this source of fat as the main source of fat in their diet. I would like people to understand and learn more about the role of olive oil in their diet and the benefits that it can bring to their health.
Estefania: We think that the final goal of our research is to improve the population’s health and so that they can make healthy choices the first thing they need is to know what’s healthy and what’s not and what’s good for them. So, I think that these types of conferences are very important because they help us researchers to bring our knowledge to the general population.
Dan: A lot of people are dealing with disease all the time and it’s reducing their quality of life. And so the promise of olive oil is that it can help people live better lives and healthier lives by reducing the symptoms that are associated with these chronic diseases.
To learn more about the IOC, The UC Davis Olive Center or the studies mentioned, visit www.internationaloliveoilusa.org.