Combination of coconut oil and physical exercise could help reduce high blood pressure
Coconut oil is said to be one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood." It contains a unique combination of fatty acids that some people say have profound positive effects on health, including fat loss, better brain function and many other benefits.
Researchers working at the Biotechnology Center at the Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil set out to test the hypothesis that a combination of daily coconut oil intake and exercise training would restore baroreflex sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress, resulting in reduction in blood pressure. They published their findings in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Their experiments were performed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. They found that both coconut oil and exercise training were able to reduce weight gain compared to rats that were given saline and were not exposed to the exercise training protocol along the 5 weeks of study.
Either coconut oil supplementation or exercise training was shown to reduce blood pressure. However, only combined coconut oil and exercise training were able to bring the pressure back to normotensive values. The reduction in blood pressure caused by the combination of coconut oil supplementation and exercise training might be explained by the improvement of the reduced baroreflex sensitivity and by the reduction in oxidative stress in the serum, heart and aorta.
"This is an important finding as coconut oil is currently being considered a popular "superfood" and it is being consumed by athletes and the general population who seek a healthy life style", explained Dr. Valdir de Andrade Braga, co-author of the study.