Protein supplementation lowers blood pressure

Reprinted with permission of Life Extension

In an article published online on July 18, 2011 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Jiang He, MD, PhD and associates report the outcome of a crossover trial which found that milk and soy protein supplements lower systolic blood pressure among those in the early stages of hypertension. The trial is the first to document a blood pressure-lowering benefit for milk protein among those with prehypertension or stage-1 high blood pressure.

A team led by Dr He, who is an epidemiologist at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, divided 352 adults with prehypertension or stage 1 high blood pressure to receive 40 grams of soy or milk protein, or a refined carbohydrate supplement daily for eight weeks followed by a three week wash-out period in which no supplements were given. The subjects then participated in two additional treatment phases in which they received supplements that had not previously been administered. Blood pressure was measured during two visits prior to each treatment phase and twice following treatment.

The trial revealed a reduction in systolic blood pressure associated with protein, but not carbohydrate, supplementation. Participants who received soy protein experienced a 2.0 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure, while those who received milk protein had a 2.3 mmHg reduction. Prior research has associated a 2 mmHg reduction in blood pressure with a 6 percent decrease in deaths due to stroke. “The systolic blood pressure differences we found are small for the individual, but they are important at the population level,” Dr He remarked.

“Some previous observational research on eating carbohydrates inconsistently suggested that a high carbohydrate diet might help reduce blood pressure,” Dr He noted. “In contrast, our clinical trial directly compares soy protein with milk protein on blood pressure, and shows they both lower blood pressure better than carbohydrates.”

“The results from this randomized, controlled trial indicate that both soy and milk protein intake reduce systolic blood pressure compared with a high-glycemic-index refined carbohydrate among patients with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension,” the authors conclude. “Furthermore, these findings suggest that partially replacing carbohydrate with soy or milk protein might be an important component of nutrition intervention strategies for the prevention and treatment of hypertension.”

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One Response to Protein supplementation lowers blood pressure

  1. Wow, this post is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things, thus I am going
    to inform her.

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