A recently published study suggests that consuming olive oil may prevent stroke in older people. The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at 7,625 people aged 65 or older in three French cities over a period of five years. After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet (1.5 percent in six years compared to 2.6 percent).
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of Columbia University noted that potentially beneficial effects of olive oil have been noted, including effects on blood glucose, anti-inflammatory effects, and modification of clotting. These may have a role in the reduction of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and now stroke.