Writing in the July issue of the British Journal of Nutrition (vol 94, issue 1, pp84-91), researchers at Calpis said the results showed that the functional food enriched with the dairy peptides tested in the study could assist in the prevention of hypertension in people with blood pressure that is above normal.
Their single blinded, placebo controlled study was conducted among 131 subjects with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension.
It found that volunteers consuming a daily 1.8mg dose of isoleucine-proline-proline (IPP) and valine-proline-proline (VPP)saw a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure at six weeks, and in subjects receiving either 2.5 or 3.6mg, this benefit was recorded already at three weeks.
The antihypertensive effect was greater in subjects with mild hypertension than in subjects with high normal blood pressure, they report.
Unilever has recently added the peptides, marketed by Calpis as AmealPeptide, to a new milk drink launched under the Flora/ Becel pro.activ brand.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an established independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, heart and kidney failure, and stroke Small reductions in blood pressure are said to have significant benefits.
Studies have shown that small decreases in SBP (3-5 mmHg), are associated with a decrease in the risk for stroke of around 15 per cent and coronary heart disease of around 10 per cent.
"The results of this study further expand the base of clinical evidence on the effects of dairy peptides, and IPP and VPP in particular, on blood pressure," said Seiichi Mizuno, lead investigator of the study.