Blood Pressure Lowered Slightly by Soy Protein and Milk
Blood pressure can be affected modestly by supplements of milk and soy protein, a new, small study found.
The researchers suggest that replacing some refined carbohydrates with soy or milk protein "might be an important component of nutrition intervention strategies for the prevention and treatment of hypertension," according to HealthDay News. Refined carbohydrates include white bread and white rice.
The overall reduction in blood pressure was small, but the benefits could translate to a lower incidence of strokes and other cardiovascular problems in the population as a whole.
"The reduction is not large in an individual, but significant at the population level," study leader Dr. Jiang He, chairman of epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, told HealthDay News.
Dr. Suzanna Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, "I think future studies need to be done," citing the small size of the study and its relatively short duration, according to HealthDay News. But, she added, "It shows us the importance of diet and modifying risk factors."
Such small changes can add up to a large difference, Steinbaum said. She suggested replacing animal fat with soy protein -- substituting a veggie burger with soy protein for a hamburger with animal protein, for instance.
Almost 75 million Americans have high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney damage.