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To look at the potential connection between olive oil consumption and risk of stroke, researchers conducted a two-part study. For part one, they collected information from 7,625 healthy, stroke-free, older adults regarding their diet and exercise habits, usual body weight, how much olive oil they typically ate, and other risk factors for stroke, including blood pressure, diabetes, smoking habits, heart disease, and alcohol use. For the second part of the study, researchers collected blood samples from 1,245 of the 7,625 part one study participants, and analyzed these samples for levels of oleic acid, the main type of fat in olive oil and a marker of olive oil consumption. The higher the levels, typically the more olive oil a person consumes.
After following this group of adults for six years, the researchers found:
This two-part study suggests that dietary olive oil may protect against stroke, particularly ischemic stroke, the type most common in the US and Europe. In ischemic stroke, one or more blood vessels to the brain become blocked. Blood flow is interrupted, leading to brain damage.
Here are some brain-protection tips.
(Neurology 2011; 77:1-1)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.