Olive oil and dried fruit reduce atherosclerosis
The study was attended by 190 volunteers, all over 55 years of age and at high cardiovascular risk. They were divided into three groups at random and received differentiated instructions from nutritionists on how to follow a Mediterranean diet.
One group received 15 liters of virgin olive oil every three months, which is equivalent to approximately 160 ml per day, while other participants received 30 grams of dried fruit such as raisins and plums per day. The third group of people received instructions and supplies to follow a low-fat diet. After a year, the scientists measured the average carotid artery layer of all participants.
According to the results, individuals who had had atherosclerosis prior to the start of the study and received olive oil or dried fruit had a considerable increase in the thickness of the artery and a reduction in blood vessel damage. Scientists are not sure why this occurs, but they believe that polyphenols contained in the oil help protect the blood vessel wall.
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Another study , conducted by the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in France, and published in the journal Neurology suggests that consumption of olive oil may help prevent stroke in older people.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers looked at the medical records of 7625 people aged 65 and over from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. None had a history of stroke. The consumption of extra virgin olive oil was categorized as "no use", "moderate use" - the use of olive oil only for cooking, seasoning or with bread - and "heavy use."
After just over five years of the beginning of the analysis, there were 148 strokes. When considering diet, physical activity, body mass index, and other risk factors for stroke, scholars found that those who regularly used olive oil for cooking and seasoning were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke, when compared to those who never used olive oil. Only 1.5% of the elderly who consumed olive oil had the accident, compared to 2.6% of those who never consumed.
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