Sesame and Rice Bran Oil Help Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

The American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions recently reported research that found people cooking with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils saw a significant drop in blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels – and actually worked nearly as well as commonly prescribed high blood pressure medications.

“Rice bran oil, like sesame oil, is low in saturated fat and appears to improve a patient’s cholesterol profile,” said Devarajan Sankar, M.D, Ph.D., a research scientist in the Department of Cardiovascular Disease at Fukuoka University Chikushi Hospital in Chikushino, Japan. “Additionally, it may reduce heart disease risk in other ways, including being a substitute for less healthy oils and fats in the diet.”

The 60-day study in New Delhi, India, showed those who used the oils for cooking saw a drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as a drop in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Healthier fatty acids and antioxidants, such as sesamin, sesamol, sesamolin and oryzanol, in the oil blends may be responsible for the results, Sankar said. These antioxidants, mono and poly unsaturated oils are compounds found in plants and have been linked with lower blood pressure and total cholesterol in earlier studies.

The combination was made specifically for this study, and there are no plans to market it commercially, Sankar said. Blending these oils yourself would not necessarily produce these effects, according to the association.