Olives New Zealand

Olive Oil could reduce the risk of stroke

June 16, 2011

from stuff.co.nz 16 June 2011

Consuming olive oil could almost halve the risk of stroke in older people, scientists have found.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux looked at the medical records of almost 8000 people aged 65 and over living in three French cities.

All participants had no history of stroke, and were monitored for five years, according to the paper published in US medical journal, Neurology, this week.

Olive oil use was categorised into ”no use”, ”moderate use” _ which meant it was used in cooking or as dressing with bread _ and ”intensive use” _ which meant it was used in every way.

Researchers recorded 148 strokes, and, examined diet, exercise, body mass index and other stroke risk factors of all participants.

They found those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as a dressing lower their risk of stroke by 41 per cent, compared to those who never used the product.

Australian dietitian, Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, said this is the first time the effect of oil on stroke had been reported.

While the size and length of the study gives it strength, Professor Itsiopoulos, head of dietetics at La Trobe University, admitted the finding were limited.

”It is difficult to attribute the outcomes just to olive oil because it’s very difficult to measure accurately what the olive oil intake of a person is,” she told AAP.

In an editorial that ran alongside the report, Professor Nikolaos Scarmeas, from Columbia University, says it is hard to say what elements of olive oil are proactive in stroke prevention.

He admitted the effect of olive oil could be indirect because it’s used to make healthy foods taste better.

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