The findings reveal that the egg white substance, known as RVPSL, has a powerful ability to block the activation of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) that is known to raise blood pressure.
"We have evidence from the laboratory that a substance in egg white ... reduces blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug," said study leader Dr Zhipeng Yu of Jilin University, China.
Yu, along with his colleagues at Clemson University, USA, set out to further document RVPSL's effects using laboratory rats that develop high blood pressure. The results of feeding the substance were positive, showing that RVPSL did not have apparent toxic effects and lowered blood pressure by amounts comparable to low doses of Captopril.
"Our results support and enhance previous findings on this topic," said Yu, who presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in New Orleans, USA.
Yu noted that the research was performed with a version of the peptide that was heated to around 200oF (93oC) during preparation — which is less than temperatures typically used to cook eggs. However, he cited evidence from other research to suggest that egg whites may retain their beneficial effects on blood pressure after cooking.
Yu said that the that egg white peptides such as RVPSL, either in eggs or as a supplement, could become useful as an adjunct to high-blood-pressure medication.
He noted that such findings about egg white and high blood pressure add to the emerging nutritional image of eggs - which were once regarded as a food to avoid in a healthy diet.