Brazil researchers have found that a daily intake of coconut oil and exercising daily would help bring down blood pressure or hypertension to its normal levels.
The researchers have attributed the results to the reduction in baroreflex sensitivity and in oxidative stress in the serum, heart and aorta, which are key factors in regulating blood pressure.
“The possibility of using coconut oil as an adjuvant to treat hypertension adds to the long list of benefits associated with its consumption,” said scientist Valdir de Andrade Braga from Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil.
The researchers said they came across the results in their casual experiments performed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. They found that both coconut oil and exercise reduced weight gain in one group of rats while the other group given saline and not exposed to exercise failed to show positive results.
The five-week experiment has shown promising results that the scientists want to repeat the trials on humans and are hopeful it would repeat.
“Our next step is to start some clinical trials in order to verify whether we can reproduce those findings in hypertensive human patients,” Braga said.
“This is an important finding as coconut oil is currently being considered a popular ‘superfood’ and it is being consumed by athletes and others who seek a healthy life style,” he noted.
The study has been published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Fights Tooth Decay:
Coconut oil was also proved useful to fight tooth decay in a study two years ago.
“It is a natural antibiotic that could be incorporated into commercial dental care products,” said scientists at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick in 2012.
The team from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland tested the antibacterial action of coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil treated with enzymes and found that it was able to fight against strains of Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth.
They found that enzyme-modified coconut oil inhibited the Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans – an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay.
(With inputs from IANS)