Olive oil and blood pressure
Various research studies have reported a close relationship between diet and blood pressure. Aside from affecting body weight, certain foods can increase blood pressure.
WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
High blood pressure is known as arterial hypertension and occurs when blood pressure readings are consistently above 140/90 mmHg.
High blood pressure is one of the most important coronary risk factors in the development of arteriosclerosis. Along with high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity and diabetes, this is one of the major health problems in the developed world. Like other risk factors, lifestyle can also contribute to high blood pressure.
One in four adults is hypertensive. This increases the risk of early death due to damage to the body's arteries, particularly the arteries that supply blood to the heart, kidneys, brain and eyes.
OLIVE OIL AND BLOOD PRESSURE
It is not yet clear which elements of the Mediterranean diet are responsible for their antihypertensive effects. However, adding olive oil to an otherwise unchanged diet has been shown to have a marked antihypertensive effect, which appears to be specific to this oil. Regular consumption of olive oil lowers both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
There is recent evidence that olive oil consumption may reduce the daily dose of drugs needed to control blood pressure in hypertensive patients, possibly due to a reduction in nitric acid caused by polyphenols.