A study reported in the journal Neurology reveals an association between olive oil consumption and a lower risk of stroke.*
Cécilia Samieri, PhD, and her associates analyzed data from 7,625 participants in the Three-City Study. Olive oil consumption frequency was ascertained from dietary intake documented upon enrollment between 1999 and 2000 and was categorized as no use, moderate use or intensive use.
During a median follow-up period of 5.25 years, 148 strokes occurred. Adjusted analysis of the data unveiled a 41% lower risk of stroke among intensive olive oil users compared to those who reported no use. The protective association was significant for ischemic, but not hemorrhagic stroke.
In a secondary study, subjects with the highest levels of plasma oleic acid had a 73% reduction in stroke risk compared to those whose levels were lowest.
Editor’s note: Olive oil is a common feature of diets consumed in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea and has been suggested as an important factor in the Mediterranean diet’s disease-protective benefit.