Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability worldwide. After ischemic stroke, damaged tissue surrounding the irreversibly damaged core of the infarct. The Mediterranean diet (MD) has been shown to lower stroke risk. MD is characterized by increased intake of extra-virgin olive oil, of which hydroxytyrosol (HT) is the foremost phenolic component.
One recent study (“Hydroxytyrosol, the Major Phenolic Compound of Olive Oil, as an Acute Therapeutic Strategy after Ischemic Stroke”. Calahorra J; Nutrients 2019) investigated the effect of an HT-enriched diet directly after stroke on regaining motor and cognitive functioning, magnetic resonance parameters, neuroinflammation, and neurogenesis.
Stroke mice on an HT diet showed increased strength in the forepaws, as well as improved short-term recognition memory probably due to improvement in functional connectivity. Moreover, mice on an HT diet showed increased cerebral blood flow and also heightened expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), indicating a novel neurogenic potential of HT.
This result was additionally accompanied by an enhanced transcription of the postsynaptic marker postsynaptic density protein 95 (Psd-95) and by a decreased ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (IBA-1) level indicative of lower neuroinflammation.
These results suggest that an HT-enriched diet could serve as a beneficial therapeutic approach to attenuate ischemic stroke-associated damage.
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