Garden pea could help tackle high blood pressure, kidney disease

March 23rd, 2009 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 23 (IANS) Proteins present in the common garden pea look promising as a natural food additive or dietary supplement to fend off high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Peas have long been recognised as nutritional superstars, with healthful amounts of protein, dietary fibre and vitamins wrapped in a low-fat, cholesterol-free package.

The new research focuses on the yellow garden pea, a mainstay pea variety enjoyed as a veggie side-dish and used as an ingredient in dozens of recipes around the world.

“In people with high blood pressure (BP), our protein could potentially delay or prevent the onset of kidney damage,” said study presenter Rotimi Aluko, a food chemist at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

“In people who already have kidney disease, our protein may help them maintain normal blood pressure levels so they can live longer.”

High BP or hypertension, is a major risk factor for CKD, a condition that has been affecting an increasing number of people in the US and other countries.

Estimates suggest that 13 percent of American adults - about 26 million people - have CKD, up from 10 percent, or about 20 million people, in the 1990s.

CKD is difficult to treat, and may progress to end-stage kidney disease that requires kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant. That situation is fostering a search for new ways of treating CKD and preserving kidney functions, said a Manitoba release.

The study will be presented at the American Chemical Society’s 237th national meeting.

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