Pour Olive Oil on Your Salad, Bring BP Down

olive oilThere was a practice often mentioned in the Arabian Nights stories that the rich were often seen drinking raw olive oil to drive off blood pressure or hypertension.

Come to the modern world, a study has suggested that putting olive oil on vegetables may brighten its effect to reduce BP than when it the oil is drizzled on other foods.

“The findings explain why Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks,” said Prof. Philip Eaton from King’s College in London.

The Mediterranean diet typically combines both unsaturated fats like olive oil, nuts and avocados, and vegetables like spinach, celery and carrots that are rich in nitrites and nitrates. When combined, the food responds to the reaction of unsaturated fatty acids with nitrogen compounds in the vegetables and results in the formation of nitro fatty acids, said the researchers.

The researchers experimented the practice in lab conditions on mice to probe the process by which these nitro fatty acids lower BP.

“The protective effect of the Mediterranean diet comes at least in part from the nitro fatty acids generated which inhibit soluble Epoxide Hydrolase to lower blood pressure,” Eaton said.

The findings will be published in the journal PNAS adds to the popular belief that a Mediterranean diet can reduce blood pressure.

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