Olive Oil May Prevent Strokes

Stroke reduction benefits from olive oil

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Olive oil has always been known as a healthier oil, much preferred as compared to vegetable oil and other widely available cooking oils. New research suggests another benefit of olive oil may be preventing strokes in older individuals.

Olive oil has previously been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.

"Incorporate olive oil into your daily diet to cut stroke risk."

Study author Cécilia Samieri with the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux, France said the research suggests a new set of dietary recommendations including olive oil might be in order for individuals over the age of 65. She noted that stroke is common in older people and olive oil would be an easy and inexpensive way to help prevent strokes.

Researchers reviewed medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France including Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Those participating had no history of stroke.

Participants were broken into several olive oil use categories including "no use," "moderate use," such as using olive oil in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and "intensive use," which included using olive oil for both cooking and as dressing or with bread. Participants mainly used extra virgin olive oil since it is widely available in France.

After following the participants for just over five years, 148 reported strokes.

It was discovered that those in the "intensive use" category had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke as compared to those who did not include olive oil in their diet. The percentage was calculated after considering diet, exercise, body mass index and other factors.

The study was supported by INSERM, the Institute of Health and Public Development, Sanofi-Aventis, the Foundation for Medical Research, the National Workers Health Fund, the General Directorate of Health, the Mutual General of National Education, the Institute of Longevity, the Regional Governments of Aquitaine and Bourgogne, the Foundation of France, the Ministry of Research, the French National Research Agency, and Lipids for Industry, Safety and Health.

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2011
Last Updated:
June 15, 2011