A new study just released out of Brazil demonstrated how drinking kefir can help lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure helps reduce the chance of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. The latest stats show that around 1/3 of all adults may have high blood pressure. Pharmaceutical ACE inhibitors are a big business these days and getting bigger every day. My belief is that it’s much healthier to take something in its natural state like kefir than a pill from a pharmaceutical company.
The power behind kefir’s natural ability to lower blood pressure is in the bio-active peptides. Peptides are beneficial compounds derived from the proteins in the milk and mostly created during the fermentation process. Bio-active peptides can help with lowering blood pressure, lowering pain, antioxidant, immune modulation, insulin modulation and antiosteoporotic (bone health) and more. These beautiful little compounds essentially helps balance everything.
The focus of the study was on the bio-active peptides in respect to lowering blood pressure. The bio-active peptides responsible for lowing blood pressure are called ACE inhibitors. When ACE is high, an enzyme called angiotensin II is released, which in turn narrows blood vessels and releases counter hormones. This in turn forces your heart and kidneys to work harder. Those bioactive peptides in kefir naturally inhibit ACE leading to lower blood pressure and all the benefits associated with low blood pressure.
They found that the bio-active peptides in kefir inhibited ACE activity by 19.3% which is quite significant. The study was done on mice, but due to strict controls on the experiment such as using the 2k1C model (direct ACE manipulation), its likely quite comparable to humans.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the study was that they found an astounding 4592 peptides in kefir when doing a spectrum analysis. The regular milk (without kefir fermentation) contained only 965 peptides. That’s an amazing 4.75-fold increase in peptides just due to the fermentation. A previous study only found 273 peptides and roughly a 2-fold increase from un-fermented milk. It’s hard to identify all bio-active peptides, but the study uncovered 35 bio-active peptides that they thought were helpful with inhibiting ACE. The previous study only uncovered 16 bio-active peptides in total. So, this new study adds light to the sheer number of bio-active peptides involved during kefir fermentation.
Kefir has been around for hundreds of years. We know kefir is amazing and the science is finally finding out why. Some people with low blood pressure might be concerned that kefir will lower it even more. From what I understand, the bio-active peptides work to balance the system and won't adversely affect low blood pressure.