17 June 2011

Study shows olive oil helps reduce risk of stroke

In a somewhat obvious “duh” moment, researchers have found that older people who regularly include olive oil in their diet have less chance of stroke. In fact, 7,625 participants in a recent French study who were 65 and older and who did not have history of a stroke, had an average of 41% less chance of ever getting one by ingesting olive oil regularly in cooking or in salad dressing.

Cecilia Samieri, PhD, of the Universite Bordeaux in France, analyzed residents living in the three city area of Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier and found that 22.8% of participants reported no olive oil use, 40% reported moderate use and 37.2% reported intensive use. Five years later, results showed 148 strokes occurred but those who reported being in the top third of the “intense users” of olive oil use use”) actually had a 73% lower risk than those who ate far less of the Mediterranean super food.

Previous studies have shown that olive oil has a positive effect on other problematic areas such as diabetes, hypertension, lipid profiles, coronary artery disease and obesity. As in every study, though, there are naysayers who hold out for further research before committing to the findings. Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of Columbia University Medical Center noted that additional random studies needed to be conducted to be sure of olive oil’s true benefit.

The Mediterranean populace and the vegetarian community, in general, have enjoyed the benefits of this monounsaturated fat for eons. It’s just now that the rest of the world is catching up.

Kathryn Lorusso
Kathryn is a former journalist and English teacher who now counsels and mediates teenage drama on a daily basis in the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex. Time away from school is spent cooking up new macrobiotic/vegan specialties, writing various blogs and newsletters and taking as many bikram yoga classes as possible.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/wheatfields