By Amir Khan
A compound in egg whites may help lower blood pressure as effectively as a common medication, according to new research presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. The findings, which have not been independently reviewed, suggest that combining egg whites with medicine could be a potent one-two punch in fighting high blood pressure in humans, the researchers said.
"Our research suggests that there may be another reason to call it 'the incredible, edible egg,'" said Zhipeng Yu, Ph.D., a study author and researcher with Clemson University, said in a statement. "We have evidence from the laboratory that a substance in egg white — it's a peptide, one of the building blocks of proteins — reduces blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug."
Previous research showed that the peptide, called RVPSL, blocks production of an enzyme that raises blood pressure. The Clemson researchers reported that feeding rats levels of RVPSL comparable to the amount contained in six egg whites provided about the same benefit as a low dose of the drug Captopril, which also blocks production of the key blood pressure.
"Our results support and enhance previous findings on this topic," Yu said in a press release. "They were promising enough to move ahead with further research on the effects of the egg white peptide on human health."
Eating egg whites has also been linked to better control of blood sugar for diabetics and lower cholesterol.
Researchers tested RVPSL that had been heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggs cooked to higher temperatures may lower blood pressure more effectively, the scientists stated, saying that previous research on the peptide exposed it to higher temperatures.
"Fried egg proteins cooked at high temperatures actually showed greater ability to reduce blood pressure than eggs boiled at 212 degrees F," the researchers wrote in their press release.
Today's findings have not been peer-reviewed by other scientists, noted Robin Kaiden, MS, a common practice designed to ensure studies are conducted correctly. so it’s unclear if the results will hold up under further testing.
“Only further testing and testing in humans can confirm for sure,” she said. “This study was not done on humans so we cannot extrapolate the results to apply to humans at this point.”
However, if the findings are confirmed, eating egg whites could prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against high blood pressure, Kaiden added.
“It could lower doses of medication needed and their negative side effects,” she said. “Much more research needs to be done, but if this does turn out to have some validity, this could be a safe, healthy side effect free way to help lower blood pressure.”
The research was funded by a grant from the Chinese government, researchers said, and not by any organizat
ion with ties to drug manufacturers or the poultry industry.
"Add Egg Whites, Lower Blood Pressure?" originally appeared on Everyday Health.