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Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Olive Oil in Diet Could Cut Stroke Risk: Study

By Ellin Holohan
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Adding olive oil to your diet may reduce your risk of stroke, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that older people who used olive oil intensively -- meaning they regularly cooked with it and used it in salad dressing -- were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who rarely consumed it.

The lead author of the six-year study, Cecilia Samieri of the University of Bordeaux in France, said why olive oil might help reduce the risk of strokes was unclear. But it might result from people replacing less healthful saturated fats with mono-unsaturated olive oil, she added.

"We can't infer from our study which aspects of olive oil prevent stroke," Samieri said. But "it may be a substitution effect." Thus, eating fewer saturated fats improves the health of olive oil users. Prior research had documented olive oil's anti-inflammatory benefit, she added.

Properties of the oil itself, including oleic acid or polyphenols, could also hold the secret to the oil's protective effect, said Samieri, a post-doctoral faculty member in the university's department of nutritional epidemiology. Polyphenols are antioxidant nutrients that reduce inflammation in the vascular system, according to the study. Oleic acid, a fatty acid, makes up 80 percent of olive oil.

The study is published in the June 15 online edition of Neurology.

Stroke, an outcome of poor vascular health, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

Strokes result from vascular bleeding or, more frequently, a blockage of blood flow to the brain. Diets high in foods containing saturated fat, such as meat and butter, have been linked to stroke.

In the study, researchers looked at how much olive oil 7,625 French people aged 65 years and over routinely used, ranging from none (23 percent) to moderate use in cooking or dressing (40 percent), to intensive use in cooking and dressing (37 percent). The participants primarily used extra-virgin olive oil, and the study controlled for stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, exercise, smoking and alcohol use.

After nearly six years, 148 strokes occurred. But those who used olive oil the most had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who used none. The overall stroke rate was 1.5 percent for the olive oil users compared to 2.6 percent for the others, according to the report.

A second study sample had some contradictory findings, the research noted. Oleic acid was measured in the blood of 1,245 participants. Among that group, 27 strokes occurred, with a 73 percent reduced risk of stroke found in people with higher levels of oleic acid, the study found. But the higher level was also linked to higher consumption of butter and goose or duck fat, which "may explain the unfavorable pattern of risk factors associated with higher plasma oleic acid," according to the findings.

A nutrition expert cautioned that people should not overuse olive oil in an effort to improve health because it is a high-calorie fat.

"The takeaway from the study is that a diet high in olive oil does have a protective benefit, but we need to look further to find out how much is beneficial while still maintaining a low-fat diet," said Heather Davis, a clinical dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

She said that the American diet is rarely lacking in fat, which is needed for healthy skin and hair, and for processing certain vitamins.

"We need to look further to establish an upper limit," said Davis. While the researchers were unsuccessful in establishing a numerical value for optimal oleic acid, "it's good that the idea is out there," she said.

She said it is important to continue the research. "We know olive oil is beneficial, but it would be advantageous to be able to determine a protective range in a patient's blood," Davis noted.

Funding for the research came from the French government and Lipids for Industry, Safety and Health, an alliance of academia and industry.

More information

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stop Hair Loss

Hair loss paves the way to a immense drop in confidence ; it induces embarrassments and irritations. Even if that is the case, do not ever go for inexpensive and instantaneous remedies for hair loss. This problem should be handled with patience and one will surely succeed with time.

Natural and chemical hair loss cure products have flooded the market. The power to obstruct DHT is the first and foremost feature of any product that assures to fight hair loss. If you are wanting to know how to stop hair loss, you have a lot of choices that will also enhance your overall health.

Starting with the proper diet, a protein rich diet with fish, eggs and beans is an effective way to stop hair loss. High-fat diets escalate testosterone levels, which are linked to hair loss, therefore confine your red meat and eat thin protein foods like chicken, almonds, yogurt and beans. Bean sprouts, bell peppers, potatoes and cucumbers are rich in Silica. Silica assists the body digest vitamins.

Apart from diet, go natural with Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto blocks DHT, a metabolite of testosterone that is responsible for both hair loss and prostate cancer. It has been used for centuries by American Indians as a way of maintaining their skin and hair healthy. Nettle root also obstructs DHT and has been known to even give new hair growth.

One can avoid hair loss and improve hair growth by massaging the scalp at least one time a day to help improve healthy circulation and maintain follicles alive. Besides massage, if hair loss stems from physical or emotional strain, meditation can help you stop hair loss. If these natural cures do not work, there are chemical treatments that have been testified efficient, but these come with soft or severe side effects.

Chemical hair loss cure products include Minoxidil (Rogaine), which is a popular solution to hair loss. This does not need a prescription and by merely using it on the scalp and adopting the instructions, one could stop hair loss in a matter of weeks. Usual disadvantages of minoxidil include burning or soreness of the eye, itching, redness or irritation at the treated area, undesirable hair growth elsewhere on the body.
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