Grana Padano — a hard, slow-ripened, semi-fat cheese — is one of the most popular cheeses in Italy. And now scientists are saying that a serving of this cheese can bring your blood pressure down.
Science and medicine have constantly revealed new superfoods that dramatically improve our health and now, and the latest in wonder snacking is this Italian cheese, according to researchers from Hypertension Unit of Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital and Catholic University of Piacenza, Italy.
Grana Padano, an Italian staple similar to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, has been shown to have peptides (short chains of amino acids) that have strong angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor activity.
These peptides provide similar blood vessel relaxation effects as the popular ACE inhibitor blood pressure prescriptions drugs, like benazepril (Lotensin) or captopril (Capoten).
In this randomized, cross-over, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 30 adults with hypertension were provided with either an ounce per day of Grana Padano cheese or a placebo imitation cheese for two months. The results showed between a 7-8 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 5-7 mmHg drop in diastolic blood pressure, depending on in-office monitoring versus automated monitoring systems.
No changes were seen in body mass index (BMI), blood lipids or blood sugar levels.
Lead author Giuseppe Crippa said, “The effects are similar to what you would expect with antihypertensive medications. Adding a little Grana Padano to a healthy diet may provide clinically significant blood pressure lowering benefits.”
The study has been presented at the 31st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.