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Olive Oil and Blood Pressure
Various research studies have reported a close relationship between diet and blood pressure. Certain foods can raise blood pressure besides having an effect on body weight.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is known as arterial hypertension and is considered to occur when blood pressure readings are constantly over 140/90 mmHg.
High blood pressure is one of the chief coronary risk factors in the development of arteriosclerosis. Along with high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity and diabetes, it is one of the main health problems of the developed world.
Like other risk factors, lifestyle can contribute to high blood pressure.
One in every four adults is hypertensive. This increases the risk of early death because of the damage to the body’s arteries, especially the arteries that supply blood to the heart, kidneys, brain and eyes.
Olive oil and blood pressure
It has not yet been clearly established what elements of the Mediterranean diet are responsible for its effects in reducing blood pressure. It has been demonstrated, however, that the addition of olive oil to a diet that is not changed in any other way has a clear lowering effect on blood pressure, which seems to be specific to this oil. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases both systolic (maximum) and diastolic (minimum) blood pressure.
There is recent evidence that when olive oil is consumed the daily dose of drugs needed to control blood pressure in hypertensive patients can be decreased, possibly because of a reduction in nitric acid caused by polyphenols.