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Cardiovascular Health Channel
Reported April 12, 2013

Egg Whites: Good for High Blood Pressure?

 

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Health-conscious consumers who are concerned about cholesterol in the yolk of an egg already know that egg whites are a popular substitute for whole eggs, but new research suggests that a component of egg whites may have another beneficial effect in reducing blood pressure.
 
"Our research suggests that there may be another reason to call it 'the incredible, edible egg,’” study leader Zhipeng Yu, Ph.D., of Jilin University, was quoted as saying.
 
Yu and colleagues out of Clemson University used a peptide called RVPSL.  “We have evidence from the laboratory that a substance in egg white — it's a peptide, one of the building blocks of proteins — reduces blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug,” Yu explained.
 
Scientists found that the substance, like the family of medications that includes Captopril, Monopril, and Vasotec, was an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.  It possesses the ability to block the action of ACE, the substance produced in the body that raises blood pressure.
 
They then used laboratory rats that develop high blood pressure to further study RVPSL’s effects.  Results showed that the feeding of the substance were positive, indicating that RVPSL did not have toxic effects and lowered blood pressure by amounts comparable to low doses of Captopril.
 
"Our results support and enhance previous findings on this topic.  They were promising enough to move ahead with further research on the effects of the egg white peptide on human health,” Yu said.
 
Yu said that the research was done with the peptide heated to almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit during the preparation, which is less than what the temperature normally is to cook eggs.  He said that evidence from the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggested that egg whites may retain their beneficial effects on blood pressure after cooking.  For instance, fried egg protein actually had a greater ability to reduce blood pressure than eggs boiled at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
Yu believes that egg white peptides, in eggs or as a supplement, could become useful as an adjunct to high-blood-pressure medication.  However, for now people should consult their health care provider before making any changes.
  
SOURCE:  Presentation at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), April 2013
 

 

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