(NaturalNews) Extracts from yellow peas may lower blood pressure and relieve other symptoms in those with kidney disease, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and presented at the conference of the American Chemical Society.
"What we seem to have here is sort of a natural approach to treating this disease, as opposed to the normal pharmacological approach," lead author Rotimi E. Aluko said. "We're talking about an edible product, not a drug, which can help to reduce blood pressure and, at the same time, reduce the severely negative impact of kidney disease."
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, and tends to worsen in those whose kidneys are diseased. As the kidneys fail, they lose their ability to filter toxins out of the blood and dispose of them via urine, and the body's urine output drops. Treatment of chronic kidney disease is difficult, and many patients end up needing dialysis or even a transplant as their kidneys fail entirely.
In the current study, researchers prepared a protein extract (pea protein hydrolysate) from the yellow garden pea, then fed it daily to rats with kidney disease. After eight weeks, the blood pressure of the rats who had been fed the extract dropped 20 percent compared with rats whose diet had not changed.
"This is significant because a majority of chronic kidney disease patients actually die from cardiovascular complications that arise from the high blood pressure associated with kidney malfunction," Aluko said.
Among rats fed the pea extract, urine output also increased 30 percent after eight weeks, achieving normal levels.
The researchers hope that the pea extract could be adapted into a natural treatment for humans with high blood pressure or kidney disease.
"In people with high blood pressure, our protein could potentially delay or prevent the onset of kidney damage," Aluko said. "In people who already have kidney disease, our protein may help them maintain normal blood pressure levels so they can live longer."
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