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Why Olive Oil Is A Dietary Miracle

It’s generally accepted that olive oil is healthy, but researchers have found exactly how it makes its dietary magic.

Researchers from King’s College London looked at whether unsaturated fats such as olive oil, and nitrite-rich vegetables (lettuce) benefited from their inhibition of an enzyme. The enzyme, known as soluble Epoxide Hydrolase, regulates blood pressure.

The findings, published in the journal PNAS, help to explain why some previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can reduce blood pressure.

In the research, mice genetically engineered to be resistant to the inhibition of soluble Epoxide Hydrolase maintained their high blood pressure despite being fed the type of nitro fatty acids that form when a Mediterranean diet is consumed. However, mice in whom the enzyme was not inhibited lowered their blood pressure when eating the same diet.

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