After eight weeks of consuming pea peptides, animal models genetically predisposed to develop high blood pressure saw significant reductions in their systolic blood pressure, food scientists at the University of Manitoba report.
Researchers from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Human Ecology, and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals recently published their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The largest measured reduction in blood pressure was 19 mmHg (mmHg stands for milliliters of mercury and it’s the measuring unit of blood pressure). To put that into context, previous research suggests a measly 2 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure could decrease stroke-related death by six per cent, and heart disease deaths by four per cent.
Feel free to eat your peas if your dessert depends on such an act, but you will not see the same results. Smaller reductions (~5-6 mmHg) have so far been seen in humans after three weeks of consuming the pea peptides, but what is more, the protein hydrolysate derived from the yellow garden pea has to be isolated and activated by special enzymes for it to work in this manner.
As it’s currently understood, the activated hydrolysate reduces systolic blood pressure by inhibiting the activity an enzyme in our blood plasma whose sole job appears to be concerned with converting a protein into a vasoconstrictor (something that narrows blood vessels).
For more information contact Sean Moore, Marketing Communications Office, University of Manitoba, 204-474-7963 (firstname.lastname@example.org).