Dairy proteins again linked to blood pressure benefits

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Blood pressure, Hypertension

A combination of milk proteins may reduce salt-induced increases in blood pressure by about 10 mmHg, according to results of a rat study from Valio.

The combination of isoleucine-proline-proline (IPP) and valine-proline-proline (VPP), with or without plant sterols, were found to attenuate the development of hypertension in salt-loaded type 2 diabetic rats.

“This study provides further evidence of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of casein-derived tripeptides in a novel animal model in this context,”​ wrote the researchers in the Journal of Functional Foods​.

The results are in-line with conclusions from a meta-analysis from Chinese scientists and published in Nutrition​. Researchers from Soochow and Peking Universities focused on the efficacy of the same milk-derived peptides as the Valio researchers: IPP and VPP.

The meta-analysis concluded that pooled data from the trials showed that the milk tripeptides were associated with a 4.8 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 2.2 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure.

With some one billion people worldwide suffering from high blood pressure - likely to more than double by 2025 - products aimed at cutting this will prove popular.

High blood pressure (hypertension),defined as having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) - a disease that causes almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169bn ($202bn) per year.

Study details

For the new study, researchers from Valio and the University of Helsinki used an animal model of type 2 diabetes, and fed them a salt-enriched diet. The animals were supplemented with the tripeptide product with or without plant sterols.

At the end of the study, improvements in blood pressure in the region of 10 to 12 mmgHg were recorded.

Furthermore, improvements were observed in blood vessel function in the tripeptide groups. The presence of the plant sterols had no effect on blood pressure.

Peptides for heart health

A small number of milk-derived ingredients are already on the market positioned to improve cardiovascular health. DSM, for example, launched an IPP ingredient called TensGuard in 2008.

On a similar but different point, Puleva Biotech is also looking at the potential of hydrolyzed caseins from goat's milk to prevent the development of high blood pressure, and have backed up their efficacy in animal and human studies.

According to a recent market research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, the heart health market is dominated by four ingredients: phytosterols; omega-3s; beta-glucans and soy protein.

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2009.09.003
“Casein-derived bioactive tripeptides Ile-Pro-Pro and Val-Pro-Pro attenuate the development of hypertension and improve endothelial function in salt-loaded GotoKakizaki rats”
Authors: P. Jakala, A. Hakala, A.M. Turpeinen, R. Korpela, H. Vapaatalo

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