'Eggs said to keep blood pressure down' was the title of a news item on www.WorldPoultry.net in February. It said that scientists from the University of Alberta in Canada have shown that eggs produce proteins that mimic the action of powerful blood pressure-lowering drugs. This shows that, on the contrary of the cholesterol myth, eggs are good for the heart and personal health.
The commonly used drugs used to lower blood pressure stop the production of the hormone angiotensin to narrowing the body's blood vessels. The protein produced by stomach enzymes after coming in contact with eggs acts in the same way.
Around the same time I read an article that stated that researchers from the University of Hiroshima in Japan had also discovered an important poultry-related nutrient that may lower blood pressure. Here it dealt with the wholesomeness of poultry meat. It is well known that collagen helps to reduce blood pressure. Poultry meat contains this collagen and that makes poultry meat a healthy choice of protein.
Consumers in the western world, however, will not take full advantage of this heath-promoting asset. They prefer the white breast meat over darker chicken meat, in which meat there is not enough collagen to show any effect on the blood pressure-lowering property. The Japanese researchers showed that this collagen is available in much higher levels in leg meat and in the feet. These chicken parts often end up in chicken soup, often favoured by Asian, African and some Latin American consumers. This may explain why high blood pressure seems to be a lesser problem in these parts of the world.
These two findings are good news for the poultry industry. Marketers can take advantage of these human health-supporting characteristics present in poultry meat and eggs to create a better image for these wonderful products. With their help we may reinstate the tradition of having an egg at breakfast and a chicken soup at supper.
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