December 17 2020

Improve blood pressure regulation thanks to olive oil

One of the beneficial properties of virgin or extra virgin olive oil is its antioxidant action against the hardening of blood vessel walls.[1],[2],[3] Polyphenols (antioxidant molecules present in olive oil in great quantities) are also believed to prevent the clogging of arteries by fatty deposits.[4] Since the arteries remain more supple, the blood can flow more freely, and blood pressure regulation is thus improved.

In its latest report, the UC Davis Olive Center concludes that consuming at least 30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil daily, versus other vegetable oils such as refined olive oil, can help lower blood pressure.[5] With a higher polyphenol content, extra virgin olive oil may be more effective at lowering blood pressure. Although the specific action mechanism is not currently known, it seems that some polyphenols have a more powerful effect than others when it comes to lowering blood pressure. Further research is needed to determine the level of total polyphenols required to achieve this effect.                

Magic in a Bottle!    

Did you know that an oil’s polyphenol concentration is directly linked to its freshness and taste? A greater proportion of these beneficial compounds brings a pleasant bitterness and a more intense pungency. Favuzzi favours olive oils with a high polyphenol concentration. Some varieties, such as the Coratina used in our Favuzzi Intense finishing oil, can achieve a polyphenol content of 1,200 mg/kg, while a typical olive oil normally contains between 50 and 1,000 mg/kg.[6]

In practice, the best dietary strategies to maintain a healthy blood pressure and to lower our overall risk of developing a chronic disease are to cook mainly with virgin or extra virgin olive oil and to follow a Mediterranean-type or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) diet. These emphasize choosing unprocessed foods that are low in saturated fats and salt, and favouring whole grains, plant-based proteins and plenty of fruit and vegetables.      

[1]     Mazzocchi, Alessandra, et al. “The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter?” Nutrients, MDPI, 3 Dec. 2019,

[2] Marcelino G;Hiane PA;Freitas KC;Santana LF;Pott A;Donadon JR;Guimarães RCA; “Effects of Olive Oil and Its Minor Components on Cardiovascular Diseases, Inflammation, and Gut Microbiota.” Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Aug. 2019,

[3]     De Santis, Stefania, et al. “Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Lesson from Nutrigenomics.” Nutrients, MDPI, 4 Sept. 2019,

[4]Mazzocchi, Alessandra, et al. “The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter?” Nutrients, MDPI, 3 Dec. 2019,    

[5] Report Olive oil as medicine: the effect on blood pressure December 2015 Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, LDN and Selina Wang, PhD

[6] Gorzynik-Debicka, Monika, et al. “Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 28 Feb. 2018,