Friday, October 21, 2011

Can Olive Oil Prevent Stroke?

Olive oil is known to benefit heart disease patients.

Some clinical trials have found that Mediterranean diet, with olive oil as key ingredient, helps control some risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and elevated levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Besides olive oil, Mediterranean diet also includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and moderate amounts of red wine. High olive oil intake is also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, and a longer lifespan among heart attack patients.

Recently, researchers from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, France even suggested that older people who ate olive oil have a lower risk of stroke than those who did not. Their paper was published on June 15, 2011 in ‘Neurology’, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

They followed 7,625 French people who aged 65 and above from 3 cities (Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier) for a period of 5 years. The participants were divided into groups according to their use of olive oil, ranging from people who did not use it at all to those who used it in dressing, cooking and on bread (classified as ‘intensive’).

During the period of study, there were 148 strokes. Those intensive users suffered stroke at a rate of 0.3 percent per year, comparing with just over 0.5 percent among non-users and 0.4 percent among moderate users.

After adjusting for factors like body weight, physical activity and overall diet, the risk of stroke for ‘intensive’ olive oil users were found to have 41 percent lower than that of those who never ate olive oil.

Based on the findings, it seemed that a new set of dietary recommendation should be issued to prevent stroke in people who are 65 and above. Olive oil can be an inexpensive and easy way to help older people prevent from getting stroke.

People should choose olive oil and other unsaturated fats over saturated fats that are found largely in meats and dairy and trans fats that were found in some processed foods such as crackers, cookies and chips.


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  3. Thanks for sharing this information. I hope it would be more helpful to the people in maintaining healthy life.