Here’s a new reason to choose eggs for breakfast: Researchers have found a substance in egg whites — known scientifically as RVPSL — can lower blood pressure as effectively as some anti-hypertensive medications.
The findings, presented a scientific meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans this week, indicate RVPSL has the ability to inhibit or block the action of ACE, a substance produced in the body that raises blood pressure and is a target of many drug therapies.
"Our research suggests that there may be another reason to call it 'the incredible, edible egg,' " said lead researcher Zhipeng Yu, of Jilin University. "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."
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Yu and colleagues from Clemson University noted RVPSL act on the same biological mechanisms targeted by the class of blood pressure-lowering medications that includes Captopril, Vasotec, and Monopril — known as ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitors.
Using laboratory rats, Yu’s team was able to show RVPSL reduces hypertension by amounts comparable to low doses of Captopril without causing any apparent toxic effects.
"Our results support and enhance previous findings on this topic," Yu said. "They were promising enough to move ahead with further research on the effects of the egg white peptide on human health."
Yu noted past research has shown egg whites retain their beneficial effects on blood pressure even after cooking, adding that egg white peptides — consumed as part of a healthy diet or in supplement form — could become useful as an adjunct to high-blood-pressure medication.
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