Apple peel extracts lowering blood pressure

Apple peel extracts could prevent activities of an enzyme linked to high blood pressure, says a new study.

According to research from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Canada, flavonoid-rich extracts of apple peel were associated with a dose-dependent inhibition of the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE.

ACE inhibitors work by preventing the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure.

Nileeka Balasuriya and Vasantha Rupasinghe said: “Overall, the results suggest that flavonoid-rich apple peel extract has a potential to act as an effective ACE inhibitor in vivo; thus, animal and clinical studies are warranted to confirm the results”.

On a global scale, about one billion people are reportedly suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension which means having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg. It is a major risk factor for CVD.

Both academic and industrial researchers consider the potential of many dietary ingredients to inhibit ACE activity. Until now, dairy peptides, green tea extracts, and cocoa extracts, to name but a few, reported to have effects to lower blood pressure.

The new in vitro cell study studied the effects of a flavonoid-rich apple peel extract, and selected flavonoids and quercetin metabolites on ACE activity.

The results concluded that the flavonoid-rich apple peel extract prevented the ACE activity in a dose-dependent manner. So, the higher the dose tested, the greater the levels of inhibition.

The research team said: “For better understating of the ACE inhibitory properties of flavonoids in general, compounds representing each sub-class of flavonoids were also investigated.

“Interestingly, most of the sub-classes of flavonoids including flavonols, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavones and flavanones showed concentration responsive ACE inhibition”.

The researchers emphasised that their data is from cell studies and therefore needs to be further investigated in animal models and clinical trials before any strong, solid conclusions can be drawn.

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