Eggs and blood pressure

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Can eggs lower blood pressure?

A recent study has shown that cooked eggs may have a role in lowering blood pressure.

It appears that, when they are cooked, the proteins found in eggs produce chemicals (called peptides) which act in a similar way to some blood pressure medicines. These peptides work to block the production of a chemical called angiotensin, which raises blood pressure.

The study used a model of the human digestive system to show that fried and boiled eggs produced a significant amount of these angiotensin-blocking peptides. In fact, fried eggs appeared to produce even more than boiled. These findings suggest that eating cooked eggs may therefore have an effect at lowering your blood pressure.

Of course, a lot more research will need to be done before we can know for certain whether eggs can help lower blood pressure. For example, we will need to find out: 

  • If the findings of this study, which used a model digestive system, will be the same when tested in humans. It may be that not so much of the peptides would be released into a human digestive system.
  • Whether the presence of these peptides actually does lower blood pressure. The body is a complicated organism, and just because there are peptides present, it does not mean that they will have the expected effect.
  • If the effect of these peptides lasts for any length of time. If, for example, their effects only lasted 1-2 hours, then there would be little point in recommending. High blood pressure needs to be kept lowered throughout the whole day, not just for short periods.
  • Whether this effect lasts in the long term. Even if we do find that peptides are released in humans, and that they can lower blood pressure, we still need to know whether they will continue to have this effect over months and even years.
  • And finally, whether the blood pressure-lowering effect of cooked eggs actually leads to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. It is not always certain that this is the case, so it would need to be investigated.

So while the results of this study are interesting, we would need to know a lot more before we could say what if any effect eggs have on blood pressure. In the mean time, eating a healthy diet that is low in salt and high in fruit and vegetables can make a real difference to your blood pressure.

This study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Topics: Research, Lifestyle, High blood pressure

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