Move over, olive oil. A new study suggests there's a new cooking oil combo with heart-healthy benefits.
Researchers followed more than 300 people with mild to moderate high blood pressure for two months. They were broken into three groups to compare treatments. The first group took a commonly used blood pressure lowering medication. The second group was given a blend of sesame oil and rice bran oil and told to use about an ounce each day in their meals. The final group received both the medication and the cooking oil blend.
The researchers found that cooking with a combination of sesame and rice bran oil in a variety of ways worked nearly as well as the high blood pressure medication. Systolic blood pressure dropped an average of 14 points for those using only the oil blend and 16 points for those using only the medication. Those using both saw a 36 point drop in their systolic blood pressure reading. Diastolic blood pressure also dropped a significant amount. Numbers were down by 11 points for those using just the oil blend, 12 points for those taking the medication and 24 points for those using both.
Cholesterol levels were improved as well. Patients using the oil blend saw a 26% drop in their bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and a 9.5% increase in their good cholesterol levels (HDL).
The catch? The oil was specially blended and donated to the study and isn't commercially available. Blending these oils yourself is not advised.
Researchers hope additional studies of this oil blend will yield similar heart-healthy effects, making it commercially appealing.