Researchers from Brazil speculate the results are due to reduction in baroreflex sensitivity and in oxidative stress in heart and aorta, key factors for maintaining a healthy 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.
Researchers noticed the results during usual experiments performed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Coconut oil and exercise reduced weight in one group of rats, compared to rats in the second group that were fed saline and not allowed to exercise.
During the five week experiment the results were encouraging and scientists want to repeat the experiments on humans, hopeful it would show the same results.
“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.