Egg White Protein May Help High Blood Pressure
Many health conscious consumers already remove the yolk from the high-protein whites of eggs (between 5-7g per serving depending on size) to reduce the fat and cholesterol content. Recent findings suggest that there may be additional benefit to consuming more egg whites; specifically the positive effects it may have on blood pressure. University professors presented their findings at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Lead scientist, Zhipeng Yu, Ph.D., of Jilin University suggests eggs have a peptide substance that functions similar to the family of medications that includes Captopril, Vasotec and Monopril, as an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. Yu stated, "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."
Yu and a group of colleagues from Clemson University suggest the peptide, RVPSL, has a powerful ability to block the action of ACE, a substance produced in the body that raises blood pressure. The early results were positive, demonstrating that rats consuming RVPSL did not encounter toxic effects but did experience lowered blood pressure comparable to low doses of Captopril.
The peptide seems to maintain the ability to function as an ACE inhibitor regardless of exposure to heat. For example, in an article published in the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, fried egg protein cooked at high temperatures actually showed a greater ability to reduce blood pressure than eggs boiled at 212°F. Yu believes that the egg white peptides can be consumed in various forms, so they may be consumed in whole eggs or within supplements to function as an adjunct to high-blood-pressure medication. Yu went on to suggest that studies in recent years have concluded that many people can eat eggs without raising their blood cholesterol levels and actually benefit from the limited fat, protein, vitamins and other nutrients the eggs provide. At less than $3 a dozen in most stores, they provide a low-cost source of quality nutrients.