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An egg a day could keep your blood pressure DOWN
Published on 22 May. 2011 12:09 AM IST
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Eggs may lower blood pressure the same way as prescription-only pills
Starting the day on an egg could keep your blood pressure in check, research suggests. Scientists have shown that eggs produce proteins that mimic the action of powerful blood pressure-lowering drugs.
The finding comes a few days after a study exploded the myth that they can increase the danger of heart attacks. It now appears that eggs may be good for the heart, lowering blood pressure in the same way as Ace inhibitors, prescription-only pills taken by millions around the world.
The drugs lower blood pressure by stopping the hormone angiotensin narrowing the body’s blood vessels.
The researchers, from the University of Alberta in Canada, showed that when eggs come in contact with stomach enzymes they produce a protein that acts in the same way.
Fried eggs proved particularly successful at blocking angiotensin, lab-based tests showed, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports. But the researchers, whose study was funded by the poultry industry, said more work was needed to show the effects outside a lab and in the human body.
Earlier this month, British researchers proclaimed that, contrary to popular perception, it is healthy to go to work on an egg.
Researchers for the British Nutrition Foundation - part-funded by the poultry industry - concluded that the type of cholesterol found in eggs has minimal effect on raising heart disease risks.
It is saturated fat, rather than the cholesterol found in eggs, that is the main dietary culprit in raising cholesterol levels. Smoking, being overweight and lack of exercise also influence blood fat and cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.
Researcher Professor Bruce Griffin, of the University of Surrey, said: ‘The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected.
‘The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol. The UK public do not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat.
‘They can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature’s most nutritionally dense foods.’
The British Heart Foundation dropped its three-egg-a-week limit in 2005. However, almost half of Britons believe the limit still applies, a poll found.

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