Drugging Blood Pressure

Colostrum Peptides and ACE Inhibitors

Drugging Blood Pressure. Healthy Living Magazine

Drugging Blood Pressure. Healthy Living Magazine

Researchers have discovered that tiny protein compounds called peptides, found in bovine colostrum, mimic the mechanism of action of a type of blood pressure drug used by tens of millions of people in the US.

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The effects are certainly milder than the drug in that these peptides are part of a complex food, but there is evidence that these foods lower blood pressure.

transient peptides

First milk—bovine colostrum (BC)—lasts only hours following birth but delivers enormously rich amounts of immune and growth factors called peptides, which the newborn calf requires to thrive. The peptides in BC are bioidentical to those in human colostrum and encased in casein, which shepherds their transport through the gut into systemic circulation. “By decreasing the formation of angiotensin II… through the inhibition of ACE, casein peptides can increase blood flow and consequently reduce the risk of hypertension,” writes Susan Groziak in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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As it turns out, BC is even richer in blood pressurelowering peptides than human colostrum. These peptides while inhibiting angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) raise levels of bradykinin that causes vessels to relax and enlarge.

Better than calcium supplements

All milk products are sources of peptides—which is why 42 analyzed studies show low-fat dairy products reduce blood pressure more effectively than calcium supplements alone.

3 peptides

Scientists have identified 3 peptides in colostrum that inhibit ACE and increase bradykinin levels. The phosphopeptides of casein, especially a-casein, indirectly affect blood pressure by binding to and enhancing the absorption of calcium in the intestine. An experimental study with casein-rich diet showed decreased blood pressure and development of severe hypertension in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive subjects, according to a report in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. Noting that research links certain amino acids with decreased risk of stroke, the researchers ascribed the observed antihypertensive effects, in part, to “the amino acid compositions in casein…”

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ACE inhibitors have been used more than two decades for treating blood pressure, heart failure, preventing heart attacks (after a first), to prevent heart overgrowth and save kidney function. They cost as little as $10 to $100. If you’re taking them now you can talk to your doctor about adding colostrum to your diet.

never need these drugs

But the exciting area that I see is to never need these drugs. Colostrum has been used in medicine for centuries and was the source of the first polio vaccine. Its uses today are especially applicable to immunity as well as sports injuries due to its plentiful immune and growth factors. Discovering 3 peptides that regulate BP shows why non-fat dairy products as a whole work better than calcium alone in the form of a supplement. It’s true that calcium lowers BP but it works better with added peptides found in dairy.

To choose the brand that’s right for you, look for first-milking colostrum obtained within the first 6 hours of birth of the calf. A quality product should never be diluted with transitional milk or fractionated to remove lipids.

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ReferencesGriffith LE, Guyatt GH, Cook RJ, Bucher HC & Cook DJ (1999)The influence of dietary andnondietary calcium supplementation on blood pressure: an updated metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Hypertension12, 84-92. Groziak SM, Miller GD. Natural bioactive substances in milk and colostrum: effects on the arterial blood pressure system. Br J Nutr. 2000 Nov;84Suppl 1:S119-125. Ikeda K, Mochizuki S, Nara Y, Horie R &Yamori Y (1987) Effect of milk protein and fat intake on blood pressure and theincidence of cerebrovascular diseases in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP).Journal of NutritionalScience and Vitaminology33, 31-36. Schlimme E &Meisel H (1995) Bioactive peptides derived frommilk proteins. Structural, physiological and analytical aspects.Die Nahrung39, 1-20.
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