Fermented milk products could have antihypertensive properties

Many studies about the effects of fermented milk on the prevention of diseases such as hypertension have been done during the last decade. If this can be demonstrated scientifically, it will provide hypertension patients with a more natural option to the usual drugs.  It is known that these functional dairy products lower blood pressure and heart rate.  This very important biological property has been attributed to bioactive peptides within dairy products.  These peptides can be released during fermentation with specific lactic acid bacteria during digestion.

Hypertension is a risk factor for several other heart diseases, stroke, cerebrovascular accidents, stroke, and many other complications.  According to the World Health Organization, hypertension affects more than one billion people worldwide.

Belinda Vallejo-Córdoba, PhD, of the Center for Food Research and Development, Sonora, Mexico, said that “Fermented milk has been promoted as a nonpharmacological treatment for hypertension, mainly because of the lack of undesirable side effects, but as yet, there is insufficient evidence to support this according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)”

“The most studied bioactive peptides derived from dairy proteins are antihypertensive peptides; however, existing studies need to be evaluated before a health claim may be associated with products. With this in mind we have carefully reviewed in vitro and in vivo and clinical studies of fermented milk containing antihypertensive peptides,” she added.

Due to the side-effects of hypertension drugs, scientists are working hard on effectively providing patients with a much less invasive alternative that will reduce hypertension and the risks associated with it.  Scientist have discovered that the best alternative in selecting fermented products was that where the angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides could be found.  This peptide is attributed to the positive effects of reducing hypertension.  However, scientists point out that these products also contain minerals such as calcium and potassium, which have a positive effect on blood circulation and pressure.  

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