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Milk Proteins Linked to Lower Blood Pressure

Obesity and reduced muscle strength are associated with increased blood pressure. A recent study suggests that taking a milk protein supplement while also undergoing exercise training may result in significant improvements in blood pressure and arterial stiffness in hypertensive obese women.

Participants in the study included 33 obese and sedentary women with an average age of 30. Over the course of four weeks, all of the women took part in moderate intensity exercise training three times per week. Om addition, one third of the group took 30 grams of whey protein daily, one third took 30 grams of casein, and one third took a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, both the casein and whey protein groups had decreases in brachial systolic blood pressure of approximately 5 mmgHg, as well as a reduction in aortic systolic blood pressure of 6 mmHg and 7 mmHg, respectively.

Both groups also had significant improvements in arterial stiffness. The control group had no changes in blood pressure or arterial stiffness.

Researchers from Florida State University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 3, 2014, in American Journal of Hypertension.

Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in milk, but it is only approximately 1% of the composition of milk. It is obtained as a byproduct of cheese making and can be purchased in powder form from health food stores. Additionally, it can be found in ricotta cheese, which is one of the only cheeses that do not have the whey removed.

When shopping for a whey protein, pay attention to the source of the milk, the production method, manufacturer specifications, and any added ingredients.

Casein is the other, more abundant, protein found in milk and has been linked in previous studies with building muscle and improved weight loss.

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