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Whey protein may offer a dietary approach to reducing blood pressure in people at risk of hypertension, suggests a new study. 70 Young adults in the early stages of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) experienced significant decreases in both systolic blood pressure (the upper figure in a blood pressure reading) of 8 points and a drop in diastolic blood pressure of 8.6 points following six weeks of drinking a whey-rich beverage every day, according to the findings. Effects were observed whether the subjects consumed hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed whey beverages, leading the researchers to propose that the benefits were due to a factor other than the presence of antihypertensive peptides produced during hydrolysis.
“The majority of the subjects enjoyed the taste and convenience of the functional whey protein beverages. Taste and convenience are both important to ensure compliance during a dietary intervention,” wrote researchers from Washington State University. “Whey protein beverages may be a valuable dietary intervention in the treatment of hypertension,” they added.
“We found that whey protein beverages lowered BP only in individuals with previously high BP, but not in those with normal blood pressure,” wrote the researchers. “These findings suggest that whey protein beverages had a normalizing effect on elevated BP and did not cause hypotension. This is important since hypotension can be a health concern in certain population groups, such as young women and the elderly.”
The study is published in the International Dairy Journal;Volume 20, Pages 753-760.