By Katya Adler
BBC News, Madrid
Scientists from all over the world are meeting in southern Spain for the first international conference on olive oil and health.
Spain produces 1 million tonnes of olive oil a year
The Mediterranean diet is famous for its richness, in taste and in vitamins: fresh vegetables, fish, a glass or two of red wine and of course, olive oil.
"Olive oil and wine - healthy and divine," says a famous Spanish proverb.
Spaniards are indeed three times less likely than northern Europeans to contract heart disease.
They think it is largely thanks to their olives.
But new studies show that olive oil has an even healthier allure.
It promotes strong bone development, helps to prevent colon and breast cancer, Alzheimer's and other aging diseases.
More than 300 scientists from the world over are attending the conference in Jaen, the centre of Spain's oil production, to compare notes, in the hope of persuading their respective governments to invest more money in olive oil medical research.