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WHEY PROTEIN IMPROVES BLOOD PRESSURE AND VASCULAR FUNCTION



Posted in..: Research & Development
Nov 30, 2010
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The benefits of whey extend beyond simply increasing protein synthesis and promoting muscle anabolism.
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The various peptides and other bioactive substances found in whey protein are being studied for a myriad of other health benefits. When studied in cell culture, several of the peptides naturally present in whey protein have been shown to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) which is a prime target of blood pressure lowering medications. It remains unclear whether these peptides remain intact after digestion and actually get absorbed into the blood, but at least some evidence suggests they might. Thus, there has been interest in studying the effects of whey protein on blood pressure and vascular function. Australian researchers had overweight subjects supplement with whey protein isolate, casein protein, or glucose (control) for 12 weeks. Subjects consumed the supplements twice per day for a total of 60 grams of protein.  After 12 weeks both the whey and casein protein groups showed decreased blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was decreased by 4% (about 5 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure was decreased by 3% (about 2 mmHg) in both protein groups. The researchers also assessed augmentation index which is a measure of the stiffness of blood vessels. Only the whey protein group showed a significant 7% decrease in augmentation index.   These results show that both whey and casein, the two milk proteins, can decrease blood pressure. Whey protein isolate also decreased arterial stiffness which shows additional benefits of whey of vascular function.
   . Pal S, Ellis V. The chronic effects of whey proteins on blood pressure, vascular function, and inflammatory markers in overweight individuals. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Jul;18(7):1354-9.




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