A study published by the Biotechnology Center at the Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil has revealed that the combination of coconut oil and excercise acts to return high blood pressure to normal ranges. Coconut’s possesses a unique combination of fatty acids shown to improve health in diverse ways.
The researchers used rat models suffering from high blood pressure to test their theory 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.
It was determined, during the 5 weeks of study, that the combination of coconut oil and exercise training acted by reducing weight gain compared to rats that were given saline and were not exposed to the exercise training protocol.
Although either coconut oil supplementation or exercise training was shown to reduce blood pressure, only the combination of oil and exercise training reduced blood pressure back to normal blood pressure range. The researchers theorized that reduction in blood pressure is caused by the combination of coconut oil supplementation and exercise training which reduced baroreflex sensitivity and reduced 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”, said Dr. Valdir de Andrade Braga, co-author of the study. “The possibility of using coconut oil as an adjuvant to treat hypertension adds to the long list of benefits associated with its consumption. Our next step is to start some clinical trials in order to verify whether we can reproduce those findings in hypertensive human patients.”
Coconut oil supplementation and physical exercise improves baroreflex sensitivity and oxidative stress in hypertensive rats. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 10.1139/apnm-2014-0351