Olive oil could prevent strokes

New research reveals the added health benefits of olive oil, by helping reduce the chance of strokes by 41 per cent

It turns out olive oil could be more than just something to pour over your salads and dip your bread into, it could save your life.

New research has revealed that the Mediterranean salad dressing could reduce the risk of suffering a stroke by 41 per cent if consumed on a regular basis.

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Researchers carried out the experiment in three French cities, involving 7625 people over the age of 65, over a course of 5 years. During that time the levels of olive oil used by each person was classified as either ‘none’, ‘moderate’ or ‘intensive.

Out of the participants 148 of them suffered a stroke during the study. These results were then compared with the amount of olive oil consumed in their daily diets, after factors such as exercise, weight and diet were noted.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed a significant rise in strokes in those who were non-users.

Lead author, Dr Cecilia Samieri, of the University of Bordeaux, said: ‘Our research suggests that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older. Stroke is so common in older people, and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to prevent it,’ she added.

Olive oil is known to contain omega-6 fats which impede the body’s reaction to inflammation in chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis and high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

While those living in the Mediterranean seemed to have noted its health benefits, regularly drizzling it on their salads, dipping their bread in it and cooking with it, Britons are not known to devour large quantities.

They are more likely to eat higher levels of animal or saturated fats, which can lead to ill health later in life.

Dr Shalin Ahmed of the UK’s Stroke Association has affirmed though that ‘this is a study not a clinical trial and a lot more research need to carried out to scientifically test the effectiveness of olive oil.’

However, swapping fats for olive oil will help you achieve a healthy, more balanced diet, that is low in saturated fat and salt.

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