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New research shows consuming extra virgin olive oil every day can significantly reduce blood pressure, which is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

 

Researchers say the project is significant because it’s the first Australian study to show a drop in central systolic blood pressure (in central arteries such as the aorta) and peripheral systolic blood pressure (in smaller arteries in the arm) linked to olive oil consumption.

 

The study, led by La Trobe University and published in Nutrients, is also important because it involved participants from many cultural backgrounds – showing that Mediterranean heritage is not a factor in benefiting from olive oil consumption.

 

The researchers led a clinical trial into the cardioprotective qualities of extra virgin olive oil, produced in Australia, in 50 healthy adults with diverse backgrounds and dietary habits.

 

They found consuming four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can reduce central and peripheral systolic blood pressure by 2.5 and 2 per cent*, respectively.

 

Lead author and La Trobe PhD candidate Katerina Sarapis said understanding how olive oil consumption impacts multi-ethnic communities is important.

 

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