The incidence of high blood pressure (BP) along with other cardiovascular (CV) risk factors
on human health has been studied for many years. These studies have proven a link between unhealthy
dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle with the onset of hypertension, which is a hallmark of CV and
cerebrovascular diseases. The Mediterranean diet, declared by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural
Heritage since 2013, is rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits and virgin olive oil. Thanks to its many
beneficial effects, including those with regard to lowering BP, the Mediterranean diet may help people from modern countries
to achieve a lower occurrence of CV disease. Data from human and animal studies have shown that the consumption
of virgin olive oil shares most of the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet. Virgin olive oil is the only edible fat that
can be consumed as a natural fruit product with no additives or preservatives, and contains a unique constellation of bioactive
entities, namely oleic acid and minor constituents. In this review, we summarize what is known about the effects of
virgin olive oil on hypertension.
Keywords: Virgin olive oil, oleic acid, minor constituents, polyphenols, blood pressure, hypertension, Mediterranean diet.
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