Protein Shows Blood Pressure Lowering Potential

February 29, 2012

A 94-person intervention trial finds protein intake reduces blood pressure over a maltodextrin supplement.

A Dutch study on 94 overweight adults supports the growing notion that ample dietary protein may alleviate high blood pressure.

Researchers from the Top Institute of Food and Nutrition (Wageningen, the Netherlands) assigned 94 men and women to a protein (20 g of plant and animal protein) or maltodextrin supplement three times daily for four weeks. Diastolic and systolic blood pressure was evaluated periodically for patients, all of whom had elevated, but untreated blood pressure.

Blood pressure readings were evaluated as either office readings or daytime readings.

Compared to readings from the maltodextrin group, systolic blood pressure decreased by 4.9 mm Hg (office) and 4.6 mm Hg (daytime) in the protein group. Diastolic blood pressure dropped 2.7 mm Hg for the protein group over maltodextrin group (office), and daytime readings did not differ between groups.

Human risk of experiencing major cardiovascular events can be reduced with even slight drops in blood pressure, according to experts. The results of this protein trial complement previous intervention studies linking protein intake and blood pressure.

Agglomix (Tilburg, the Netherlands) provided protein and maltodextrin supplements for the study. It is available for further reading at the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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