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Beverages formulated with whey proteins may offer a dietary approach to reducing blood pressure in people at risk of hypertension, suggests a new study.

Young adults in the early stages of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) experienced significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures following six weeks of drinking a whey-rich beverage every day, according to findings published in the International Dairy Journal.

Effects were observed whether the subjects consumed hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed whey beverages, leading the researchers to propose that the benefits were due to a factor other than the presence of antihypertensive peptides was produced during hydrolysis.

“The majority of the subjects enjoyed the taste and convenience of the functional whey protein beverages. Taste and convenience are both important to ensure compliance during a dietary intervention,” wrote researchers from Washington State University.

“Whey protein beverages may be a valuable dietary intervention in the treatment of hypertension,” they added.

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.

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