Hypertension

17 October 2008

Chicken soup lowers BP

Chicken soup, which has been dubbed Grandma's penicillin for its purported cold-fighting abilities, may also help to lower high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

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Chicken soup, which has been dubbed Grandma's penicillin for its purported cold-fighting abilities, may also help to lower high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

Japanese researchers have found that collagen proteins found in chicken may actually lower blood pressure. These collagens appear to act like the blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors.

One caveat, though: it's the chicken, not the rest of the stuff in the soup, that may be medicinal.

"As this study suggests, some collagen in chicken may lower blood pressure," said Dr Byron Lee, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. "But be careful. The salt we put on our chicken and in our chicken soup may offset or even reverse this potential benefit."

That may be why Ai Saiga and colleagues at the Nippon Meat Packers Inc.'s Research and Development Centre are looking to find ways to use chicken collagen as a blood pressure medication. Their report will be published in the Oct. 22 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

How the study was done
Previous studies had found that chicken breast meat contained only small amounts of collagen - too little to be used to develop food and medications for high blood pressure. But chicken legs and feet contain much more collagen, the researchers said.

For the new study, the researchers took collagen from chicken legs and tested it to see if it had the same properties as ACE inhibitors. They found that four proteins in the meat had collagen that acted like the drug.

When they gave these proteins to rats that replicated a human model of high blood pressure, the proteins caused a significant decrease in blood pressure, the researchers found.

"Chicken collagen hydrolysate prepared in this study was composed of foods that can be easily incorporated into the daily diet," the researchers wrote. "By incorporating these foods into meals, normalisation of blood pressure will be achieved without compromising the quality of life of those who need such foods." – (Reuters Health, October 2008)

Read more:
Chicken soup soothes pandas

 

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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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