Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteins From Garden Pea May Help Fight High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease

Date:
March 28, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers in Canada are reporting that proteins found in a common garden pea show promise as a natural food additive or new dietary supplement for fighting high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease. Those potentially life-threatening conditions affect millions of people worldwide.

Proteins found in the yellow garden pea (above) show promise as a natural food additive or new dietary supplement for fighting high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.
Credit: Rotimi Aluko, Ph.D., University of Manitoba, Canada

Researchers in Canada are reporting that proteins found in a common garden pea show promise as a natural food additive or new dietary supplement for fighting high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Those potentially life-threatening conditions affect millions of people worldwide.

The study, which was presented March 22 at the American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting, is the first reporting that a natural food product can relieve symptoms of CKD, the scientists say.

Peas long have been recognized as nutritional superstars, with healthful amounts of protein, dietary fiber, 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, our protein could potentially delay or prevent the onset of kidney damage," says study presenter Rotimi Aluko, Ph.D., 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 blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for CKD, a condition that has been affecting an increasing number of people in the United States and other countries. Estimates suggest that 13 percent of American adults — about 26 million people — have chronic kidney disease, 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 function.

Working with University of Manitoba colleague Harold Aukema, Ph.D., Aluko purified a mixture of small proteins — called pea protein hydrolysate — from the yellow garden pea. The researchers fed small daily doses of the protein mixture to laboratory rats with polycystic kidney disease, a severe form of kidney disease used as a model for research on CKD. At the end of the 8-week-long study period, the protein-fed rats with kidney disease showed a 20 percent drop in blood pressure when compared to diseased rats on a normal diet, the researchers say.

"This is significant because a majority of CKD patients actually die from cardiovascular complications that arise from the high blood pressure associated with kidney malfunction," Aluko notes.

In both rats and humans with polycystic kidney disease, the condition causes urine output to be severely reduced and the kidneys are unable to properly remove dangerous toxins. The researchers showed that their pea extract caused a 30 percent boost in urine production in the diseased rats, bringing their urine to within normal levels.

"That's a huge improvement," says Aluko, adding that there were no obvious adverse side effects from the pea protein.

Based on those promising results, the researchers plan to test the protein extract in humans with mild hypertension within the next year at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba, in collaboration with co-investigator Dr. Peter Jones. Scientists do not know exactly how the pea extract works. However, it appears to boost production of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), a protein that boosts kidney function, the researchers say.

Aluko points out that eating yellow peas in their natural state won't produce the same potential health benefits as the purified protein extract. The potentially beneficial proteins exist in an inactive state in natural peas, and must be activated by treatment with special enzymes.

But the pea extract does have a very welcome social advantage over fresh peas: "It won't give you gas," notes Aluko. That's because the purified proteins don't contain the complex plant-sugars found in fresh beans that are known to trigger flatulence. The extract itself does not appear to have any unpleasant taste or odor, he adds.

If studies continue to show promise, Aluko estimates that the extract could hit the consumer market within the next two to three years. The extract could be made into a soluble powder that can be added to foods and beverages or it could be developed into a pill, the scientists say.

The government of Canada funded the research through its Advanced Foods and Materials Network of Centre of Excellence (AFMnet), whose scientific director is Dr. Rickey Yada and executive director is Ron Woznow. Nutri-Pea Ltd., a private Canadian company that specializes in making food products from yellow peas, was the industrial partner for the project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Proteins From Garden Pea May Help Fight High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090322154407.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, March 28). Proteins From Garden Pea May Help Fight High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090322154407.htm
American Chemical Society. "Proteins From Garden Pea May Help Fight High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090322154407.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins