The study used the Marealis RSPC product, developed by Norway-based Marealis AS (a subsidiary of Stella Polaris, one of the world’s leading producers of coldwater prawns). The ingredient received novel foods approval in the EU, and is also available in the US and Canada. A finished product called PreCardix was launched in 2018. Marealis AS sponsored the new study.
Data published in the International Journal of Hypertension indicated that a 1,200 mg per day dose of the protein hydrolysate from Coldwater Shrimp (Pandalus borealis) for eight weeks led to greater blood pressure reductions in people with mild to moderate hypertension, compared to placebo.
The study, performed by scientists from Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy and KGK Science Inc., is said to be the first clinical trial to evaluate the potential blood pressure benefits of the shrimp protein hydrolysate.
“Findings from this study provide evidence that protein hydrolysates from Coldwater Shrimp can safely reduce BP for subjects with mild or moderate hypertension, possibly due to a reduction in angiotensin II levels,” wrote the researchers.
The potential mechanism of action focused on the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity: ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure.
The researchers did record a reduction in the activity of ACE in the shrimp protein hydrolysate group, but they didn’t measure angiotensin I and II levels in the placebo group, so “future studies are needed to determine whether RPC derived from Coldwater Shrimp is, indeed, associated with a reduction in angiotensin II levels”, they wrote.
The researchers recruited 144 free-living adults with mild to moderate hypertension and randomly assigned them to receive either the shrimp-derived protein hydrolysate or placebo for eight weeks.
Results showed that, at the end of the study period, the shrimp-derived protein hydrolysate group displayed “significant and favorable improvements” for outcomes, including 24-hour ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressure, daytime ambulatory diastolic blood pressure, and daytime and 24-hour ambulatory mean arterial pressure.
“Importantly, the participants enrolled in this study were already in early progression towards developing hypertension or had mild or moderate hypertension,” wrote the researchers. “Thus, even modest reductions in BP are meaningful for this population; in fact, by the end of the study, the proportion of individuals who were categorized as being prehypertensive was significantly greater in the RPC [Refined Peptide Concentrate] group than in the placebo group, while the proportion of individuals categorized as having Stage 1 or 2 hypertension was significantly lower in the RPC group relative to the placebo group. Importantly, treatment with RPC was safe and well-tolerated.”
Source: International Journal of Hypertension
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1155/2019/2345042
“A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicentre Trial of the Effects of a Shrimp Protein Hydrolysate on Blood Pressure”
Authors: K. Musa-Veloso et al.