A new study suggests that consuming olive oil may help prevent a stroke in older people. The research is published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Our research suggests that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older,” Cécilia Samieri, PhD, University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Bordeaux, France, stated in a press release. “Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it.”
For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Participants had no history of stroke. Olive oil consumption was categorized as “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. According to Samieri, the study participants mainly used extra virgin olive oil, as that is 98% of what is available in France.
After a little over 5 years, there were 148 strokes.
After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41% lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet.
Olive oil has been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.