Adding extra virgin olive oil to food every day is good for people suffering from hypertension, say Australian scientists from La Trobe University in Melbourne.
In a new study conducted on the cardioprotective properties of extra virgin olive oil, the researchers concluded that daily consumption of the product reduces blood pressure.
“This popular oil is widely recognized as a nutritious source of dietary fat when paired with traditional, Mediterranean style diets from Greece and Spain. Our study confirms the benefits associated with olive oil consumption extends to people without Mediterranean heritage but who have different cultural upbringings, traditions and food preferences,” says Katerina Sarapis, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at La Trobe University.
The experiments involved 50 people with different eating habits. The results showed that extra virgin olive oil has cardioprotective properties.
“The refined, low polyphenol olive oil had no significant impacts on blood pressure, but the extra virgin olive oil caused a reduction in central and peripheral systolic blood pressure. This is of clinical importance, as this result was achieved without the use of any blood pressure medications,” according to Sarapis.
It is enough to take four tablespoons of extra virgin oil a day to lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. Our findings provide evidence for a potentially widely accessible dietary intervention that can reduce cardiovascular risk in populations not accustomed to a high consumption of extra virgin olive oill,” notes the La Trobe Associate Professor George Moschonis.