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Flax seed proteins may help maintain healthy blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a disease which causes almost 50% of deaths in Europe and is reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169bn per year. 

However, new research from Canada suggests that proteins from flax seed may help reduce blood pressure and potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because flax seed proteins have been shown to inhibit an important enzyme called “angiotensin converting enzyme”. 

Angiotensin II is a vasoconstrictor. In other words, it causes blood vessels to constrict, leading to high blood pressure. However, its precursor, angiotensin I, appears to have no biological activity and exists solely as a precursor to angiotensin II. 

During the laboratory study, researchers took flax seed meal, extracted the proteins and hydrolysed them, using a variety of enzymes. They then tested the proteins to see whethe....

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