People who eat high levels of certain amino acids found in meat and plant-based protein have lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness, revealed researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA). The researchers suggest that the magnitude of association is similar to those previously reported for other lifestyle risk factors such as stopping smoking, alcohol consumption or getting more exercise.
Researchers found that the food source was important to get these benefits. Higher intake of amino acids from plant-based sources was associated with lower blood pressure, and a higher intake from animal sources was associated with lower levels of arterial stiffness.
Lead researcher Amy Jennings said, "This research shows a protective effect of several amino acids on cardiovascular health. Increasing intake from protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy produce, beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach could be an important and readily achievable way to reduce people's risk of cardiovascular disease."
The study appeared in the Journal of Nutrition.