Researchers at La Trobe University have struck oil in their research to combat heart disease – the leading cause of death around the world.
They’ve found that consuming three to four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day can significantly reduce blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
The study involved 50 healthy adults and lead author, PhD candidate Katerina Sarapis said she deliberately included participants from diverse cultural backgrounds.
“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,” she said.
The trial compared the effects of extra virgin olive oil with refined low polyphenol olive oil.
Only the extra virgin appeared to lower blood pressure.
“Extra virgin olive oil is rich in a variety of active compounds such as polyphenols, which have proven heath benefits thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” Katerina Sarapis said.
The university’s Associate Professor George Moschonis said the study was an important step in the prevention of heart disease.
“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 oil,” he said.
Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology, Bond University, Deakin University and Murdoch University also contributed to the study.
(The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. Please see your medical professional for information tailored to your personal circumstances.)
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