The researchers from University of East Anglia have found that the amino acids in meat and dairy products could drastically improve cardiovascular health in women. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
"The really surprising thing that we found is that amino acid intake has as much of an effect on blood pressure as established lifestyle risk factors such as salt intake, physical activity and alcohol consumption," says lead author Dr. Amy Jennings of the University of East Anglia (UEA).
For the study, the researchers examined 1,898 women who were twins and who had a healthy body mass index (BMI). Dr. Jennings and her team observed the effect of seven amino acids on their cardiovascular health. The research team also compared participantâ€™s diets to clinical measures of blood pressure and blood vessel health and found strong evidence that high amino acid intake is essential.
From the study, the researchers noticed that plant-based protein sources were more strongly associated with lower blood pressure whereas meat was more strongly associated with reduced arterial stiffness.
"We studied seven amino acids - arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, leucine, and tyrosine," says Dr. Jennings. "Glutamic acid, leucine, and tyrosine are found in animal sources, and a higher intake was associated with lower levels of arterial stiffness."