Soy and milk protein could help alleviate problems with high blood pressure, a new study reveals
The Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association study focussed on 352 adults, who were at risk of high blood pressure or had experienced mild hypertension. The participants were given refined complex carbohydrates or powdered milk and soy every day over an 8 week period and were told to consume the same amount of calories and sodium and take their usual amount of exercise.
Over the period, no significant drops in diastolic blood pressure readings were registered, although differences in systolic readings were noted. A diastolic reading measures how the heart contracts when force is placed upon the arteries and blood is pushed through. A systolic reading is the force generated between heart beats.
The participants who took the milk protein saw a drop in systolic blood pressure of 2.3-mmHg in comparison to when they had consumed the carbohydrate supplement. Those who took the soy protein supplement saw a drop in systolic blood pressure of 2-mmHg again in comparison to when they had consumed the carbohydrate supplement. Notably, no substantial blood pressure reading changes registered during the time that the participants took the carbohydrate supplement.
Dr. Jiang He, an epidemiologist, and leader of the study said: “Some previous observational research on eating carbohydrates inconsistently suggested that a high carbohydrate diet might help reduce high blood pressure”. He then went on to add: “In contract, our clinical trial directly compares soy protein with milk protein on blood pressure, and shows they both lower blood pressure better than carbohydrates.”