Olive oil consumption may lower stroke risk in older adults

June 22, 2011

A study published in Neurology shows that older people who include olive oil in their diet may have a lower risk of stroke. The study included 7,625 adults age 65 and older who reported on their diets and other lifestyle factors. People who said they used olive oil for both cooking and as a dressing were considered “intensive users.” After analysis, with adjustment for other diet habits, exercise levels, and major risk factors for stroke, heavy olive oil use was tied to 41% reduction in the odds of stroke.

The researchers also took blood samples from another 1,245 older adults, measuring their levels of oleic acid—an acid found in olive oil, as well as oil made from a number of nuts. The one-third of participants with the highest oleic acid levels was 73% less likely to suffer a stroke than the one-third with the lowest levels.

It should be noted that this was an observational study and that more research needs to be conducted to prove a correlation between olive oil and stroke risk.