Olive oil and reduced need for antihypertensive medications

L. Aldo Ferrara, A. Sonia Raimondi, Lucia D'Episcopo, Lucio Guida, Antonio Dello Russo, Teodora Marotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The blood pressure (BP) effects of changing the total fat intake and saturated-unsaturated fat ratio are still controversial, despite evidence that saturated fat-enriched diets are associated with higher BP levels. This double-blind, randomized crossover study evaluated a possible difference between antihypertensive effects of monounsaturated (MUFA) (extra- virgin olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (sunflower oil). Methods: Twenty-three hypertensive patients were assigned randomly to MUFA or PUFA diet for 6 months and then crossed over to the other diet; effects were evaluated on the basis of daily antihypertensives needed. Results: Diets high in MUFA and PUFA differed from the habitual diet for reduced total and saturated fats, whereas they differed from each other for MUFA (17.2% vs 10.5%) and PUFA content (3.8% vs 10.5%). Resting BP was significantly lower (P = .05 for systolic BP; P = .01 for diastolic BP) at the end of the MUFA diet compared with the PUFA diet. Blood pressure responses during sympathetic stimulation with the cold pressor test and isometric exercise were similar. Daily drug dosage was significantly reduced during the MUFA but not the PUFA diet (-48% vs - 4%, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-842
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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