Coconut Oil has been the darling of the health, wellness and nutrition world for the past year or so. People put it in and on everything these days. Fry your meat in it, blend it in your coffee, rub it on your face, you name it. It's often hard to know if the most popular superfoods are really even that super. What are they REALLY doing for us? Well a group of researchers at the Biotechnology Center at the Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil decided to test the hypothesis
that a combination of daily coconut oil intake and exercise training would result in reduction of blood pressure.
A group of hypertensive rats were given coconut oil and exposed to exercise, while the control group was given saline and remained sedentary. Exercise and coconut oil were each individually able to reduce weight gain, compared to rats that were not exposed to either. However, the combination of the oil and the exercise was able to bring hypertensive blood pressure back down to normotensive values. There was a reduction in baroreflex sensitivity (the development and progression of cardiovascular disease) as well as a reduction in oxidative stress in the serum, heart and aorta. More normalized blood pressure reduces the stress on your heart, and a relaxed heart means a healthier and more powerful athlete! The next step is reproducing the findings in human patience, but all signs indicate the findings will be similar. For now, we'll take that extra helping of coconut oil, please!