` Add Olive Oil to Vegetables to Lower Blood Pressure


Add Olive Oil to Vegetables to Lower Blood Pressure

May. 22, 2014
By Elena Paravantes

Recent News

One of the main char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Mediter­ranean diet is the fre­quency of veg­etable-rich meals and sal­ads cooked in plenty of olive oil. And while we know that the addi­tion of olive oil to veg­eta­bles can increase the absorp­tion of vit­a­mins and antiox­i­dants, it appears that this pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion has another sig­nif­i­cant health effect: it may pro­tect from high blood pres­sure.

A new study pub­lished in the jour­nal PNAS, sug­gests that an eat­ing pat­tern that com­bines unsat­u­rated fats (such as olive oil) with spe­cific veg­eta­bles rich in in nitrite and nitrates can pro­tect from hyper­ten­sion. Nitrite rich veg­eta­bles are mainly green leafy types such as spinach, wild greens, and root veg­eta­bles. These veg­eta­bles are con­sumed on a daily basis within a Mediter­ranean diet and always with olive oil. Researchers found that when these two foods are com­bined you have the for­ma­tion of nitro fatty acids.

For this study, mice were used to exam­ine how nitro fatty acids con­trol blood pres­sure by inhibit­ing an enzyme that is known to reg­u­late blood pres­sure.

The results showed that the mice genet­i­cally engi­neered not to be reac­tive to this enzyme process had no change in blood pres­sure, while in nor­mal mice the nitro fatty acids low­ered the blood pres­sure.

The researchers con­cluded that the com­mon com­bi­na­tion of unsat­u­rated fatty acids such as olive oil with these veg­eta­bles con­tributes to the pro­tec­tive action of the Mediter­ranean diet.

In another study pub­lished in the jour­nal PLOS ONE, researchers were able to demon­strate by using mass spec­trom­e­try, that extra vir­gin olive oil as well as fresh olives are also a source of nitro fatty acids on their own, thus poten­tially con­tribut­ing even more to the anti­hy­per­ten­sive effect.


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