Study: Olive oil only properly lowers blood pressure when combined
Research has known for some time that olive oil and the Mediterranean diet can strengthen the cardiovascular system and protect against many diseases. According to a study, olive oil should also be able to lower blood pressure if you have high blood pressure. However, an essential combination is required so that the effect can develop.
Healthy Mediterranean cuisine The Mediterranean cuisine has long had a good reputation. Older studies have already shown that this diet can help to be better protected against heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular diseases. They can also help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Even though there was no evidence of this, many people assumed that this was mainly or entirely due to the fact that olive oil, which is said to lower blood pressure, is used in the Mediterranean to prepare food. But British researchers from King’s College in London are now showing that olive oil needs a companion, for example lettuce, to lower the blood pressure.
Important nitro fatty acids are formed When the unsaturated fatty acids in the oil meet vegetables containing nitrates, so-called nitro fatty acids are formed. These are substances that can block an enzyme that plays a role in the development of blood pressure. In experiments with genetically modified mice, the team led by Philipp Eaton examined whether the effect is sufficient to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and to lower blood pressure.
The animals bred specifically for the study formed a functional form of the enzyme in their body, which however cannot be blocked by nitro fatty acids. The scientists artificially caused high blood pressure in both these mice and those in the control group. They also fed the rodents food enriched with nitro fatty acids, which was comparable in value to Mediterranean food.
Combination of olive oil and vegetables containing nitrates The researchers then checked the animals' blood pressure regularly and showed that the nitro fatty acids significantly reduced the blood pressure of the unchanged mice. In contrast, the values remained high for the genetically modified mice. As the scientists write in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", the hypotensive effect is based on the blocking of the enzyme by nitro fatty acids. The results therefore indicate that it is the combination of oil and nitrate-containing vegetables that makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy. However, a similar effect should also be found when nuts or avocados meet spinach, celery or carrots.
By the way, cold-pressed oils should not be used for frying or overheated, since high temperatures not only change the taste, but also destroy important ingredients of the oil. (sb, ad)