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Can Egg Whites Lower Blood Pressure

Apr 23rd, 2013

Egg Whites Lower Blood PressureEggs have often been described as being bad for health due to their high cholesterol content, but recent research has suggested they are healthier than previously believed. Researchers have found new evidence that a component of egg whites have another beneficial effect in reducing blood pressure.

The study was presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, Louisiana. “Our research suggests that there may be another reason to call it ‘the incredible, edible egg’,” said study leader, Zhipeng Yu, Ph.D., of Jilin University, China; along with colleagues at Clemson University, South Carolina. “They are promising enough to move ahead with further research on the effects of the egg white peptide on human health.”

The researchers, based at Jilin University, fed the peptide, called RVPSL, to rats with high blood pressure and found it reduced symptoms of hypertension. The substance, called RVPSL, is an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which has the ability to stop or block the action of ACE, which is produced in the body and raises blood pressure.

The study has found that the egg whites  lower blood pressure and  did not have toxic effects . “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,” said Yu.

Yu noted that the research was performed with a version of the peptide that was heated to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius) during preparation. However, he cited evidence from other research which suggest that egg whites may retain their beneficial effects on blood pressure after cooking. One study, published in the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed that fried egg proteins cooked at high temperatures actually showed greater ability to reduce blood pressure than eggs boiled at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

He added that the peptides in egg whites such as RVPSL, either in eggs or as supplements, could become useful as an addition to high blood pressure medication. So eating egg whites could be a useful way to help patients keep their blood pressure down, particularly when used alongside medication.

Egg whites are already popular among health-conscious consumers concerned about cholesterol in the yolk. These findings are further evidence of the benefits of eating eggs, which were once seen as a food to avoid in a healthy diet. However, Yu advised anyone with high blood pressure to consult their healthcare provider before making any changes.

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