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WASHINGTON, April 2, 2009 — With the Jewish holiday of Passover
beginning at sundown next Wednesday, April 8, a staple of the traditional dinner
–– chicken soup with matzoh balls –– may take on medicinal importance based on
findings published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food
The popular home remedy for the common cold sometimes known as
“Grandma’s Penicillin” may have a new role alongside medication and other
medical measures in fighting high blood pressure, scientists in
Japan are reporting.
Ai Saiga, Ph.D., and colleagues cite previous studies indicating
that chicken breast contains collagen proteins with effects similar to ACE
inhibitors, mainstay medications for treating high blood pressure. But chicken
breast contains such small amounts of the proteins that it could not be used to
develop food and medical products for high blood pressure.
Chicken legs and feet, often discarded as waste products in the
U.S. but key soup ingredients
elsewhere, appear to be a better source.
In the study, Saiga and
colleagues extracted collagen from chicken legs and tested its ability to act as
an ACE inhibitor in the laboratory studies. They identified four different
proteins in the collagen mixture with high ACE-inhibitory activity.
Given to rats used to model human high blood pressure, the proteins
produced a significant and prolonged decrease in blood pressure, the researchers
As for the matzoh balls, those delicious dumplings made from ground,
unleavened bread, there is no word that they cure anything except a healthy
-- News release courtesy of American Chemical Society
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