Chicken proteins again show blood pressure benefits: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Blood pressure, Protein

Proteins extracted from chicken legs may reduce blood pressure and potentially help against cardiovascular disease, according to a new study from Japan.

Proteins obtained by hydrolysing meat from chicken legs led to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity of up to 98 per cent, according to results published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​.

ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure.

Researchers from the School of Human Sciences at Kobe College report one of the proteins extracted could be “a good starting substance for designing food supplements for hypertensive patients”​.

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.

The study builds on earlier findings, also from Japan, on the potential benefits of chicken protein. In 2008, scientists from Nippon Meat Packers and Hiroshima University reported that hydrolysed chicken leg collagen reduced the blood pressure in hypertensive rats by 50 mmHg.

Study details

The Kobe College scientists separated four proteins from boneless chicken leg meat exposed to artificial gastric juice.

When tested for their ACE-inhibiting activity, two of the proteins were found to reduce 50 per cent (IC50) of ACE-activity at 228 and 5.5 micromole levels. “Although these values were much larger than 0.022 micromoles for captopril, a typical synthetic ACE inhibitor, they are comparable to IC50 values reported for various ACE inhibitory peptides derived from foods,”​ explained the researchers.

“The peptide P1 (MNVKHWPWMK) corresponds to the amino acid sequence from amino acids 825 to 834 of myosin heavy chain, and the peptide P4 (VTVNPYKWLP) corresponds to the amino acid sequence from amino acids 125 to 135 of myosin heavy chain,”​ wrote the researchers. “They are novel ACE inhibitory peptides derived from chicken,” ​they added.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
​Published online ahead of print, ASAP Articles​, doi: 10.1021/jf100977z
“Novel Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Peptides Derived from Boneless Chicken Leg Meat”
Authors: M. Terashima, T. Baba, N. Ikemoto, M. Katayama, T. Morimoto, S. Matsumura

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