Latest research into the beneficial impact of peptides in fermented milk might have on lowering consumer's blood pressure brings good news for manufacturers of drinking yoghurts.
Contributing to a body of mounting evidence, scientists at the Danish Centre for Advanced Food Studies in the øresund Region of Europe have found that certain peptides in fermented milk products have a lowering effect on the blood pressure.
Milk and dairy produce contain peptides with a variety of different functional properties. Certain proteins can be degraded into peptides - amino acids - with blood pressure lowering effect. According to the researchers, the peptides, liberated at the fermentation stage, hinder an enzyme in catalysing the formation of Angiotensin II which causes the blood vessels to contract, and blood pressure to rise.
Their research found that the enzyme hindering effect in the finished products turned out to be greatest if the fermentation was made with the bacteria strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus helveticus and Lactococcus lactis. The effect was less when traditional yoghurt culture - containing several bacteria strains - was used at the fermentation.
The scientists also found that products produced by means of a single bacteria strain contributed to a 'more floating product' than the traditional yoghurt drink.
The tests further revealed that the higher the protein content - that varies from race to race and can be regulated through the feeding in the milk - the better the effect.
This latest research follows hot on the heels of a study at the Valio research centre in Helsinki, Finland and the Institute of Biomedicine at the university of Helsinki - published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition- that concluded L. helveticus LBK-16H fermented milk containing bioactive peptides, used daily, does have blood pressure-lowering effect in hypertensive subjects.