OLIVE oil can help prevent strokes for pensioners, a study suggests.

Researchers followed 7,000 people aged 65 and over, in three French cities for at least five years.

They found that those who used the Andalucian staple in their cooking were at a lower risk of a stroke than those who never used it.

The study, which appeared in the journal Neurology, found the stroke risk was 41 per cent lower in those who regularly used olive oil compared with those who didn’t.

Dr. Cecilia Samieri, of Bordeaux university, said: “Strokes are so common in older people, and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it.”

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