Cooking with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils can not only drop blood pressure, but improve cholesterol levels, too, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
The study, which took place for 60 days, broke up the 300 New Delhi participants into three groups: those taking medication, those using one ounce of the oils a day, and one incorporating both.
Systolic blood pressure went down an average of 14 points in people using just the oils, 16 points in those taking the medication, and 36 points in those using both. Diastolic blood pressure also dropped by comparable numbers.
In addition, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels dropped 26 percent in participants using the oils, and HDL (“good”) cholesterol went up 9.5 percent. No change was noticed in those taking blood pressure medication.
Devarajan Sankar, M.D., of the Fukuoka University Chikushi Hospital in Japan said that these improvements may be because of the oils’ low levels of saturated fats and higher levels of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants.
The AHA said further studies are necessary to assess the real benefit of these oils, and that those on blood pressure medication should not discontinue use.