“Sesame oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can make it a great way to help lower cholesterol,” says Amy Shah, MD, a double board-certified integrative medicine doctor.
The lignans, tocopherols, phytosterols, natural antioxidants, and bioactive compounds in sesame can contribute to protecting heart health6 and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially when used in place of saturated fats.
A separate study found that when patients were given a blend of sesame and rice bran oil with the antihypertensive drug nifedipine, they significantly reduced total cholesterol7, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
An important point, however, is while sesame oil (in addition to other vegetable oils) can improve and protect heart health, it’s not a magic bullet. Diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits are still the cornerstones of cardiac health, but sesame oil can add protective properties thanks to the vitamins and compounds found in it.