A fascinating study has highlighted how different dietary proteins affect the blood pressure when taken as part of the normal diet. Following an analysis of 7 previous studies involving over 250,000 individuals it was discovered that while a diet high in animal proteins appeared to be linked to an increased risk of elevated blood pressure and stroke a diet high in fish protein was actually associated with a lowered stroke risk and lower blood pressure. Naturally, the solution proposed by the authors is simply to replace meat based meals with fish. While it is unclear how fish protein protects against stroke theories have been proposed that include a lowering effect of fish protein on blood fats (such as cholesterol. LDL’s and triglycerides) but the authors of the study feel that the stroke protective effect is more likely to involve the direct effect of fish proteins on the blood pressure itself. Fish protein is only one aspect of a meal and tends to be associated with nutrients with established blood pressure lowering actions such as potassium, magnesium and dietary fibre but once the effects of these were removed from the stroke risk calculations the protective effects of fish proteins still remained reinforcing the importance of this component of the diet in isolation of other factors. This study also supports the use of a natural food supplement (PeptACE produced by the Canadian manufacturer Natural Factors) made from a specific mixture of 9 small peptides (proteins) isolated from the Bonito fish, a relative of the Tuna. Studies into the effects of the PeptACE Fish Peptides show that it exerts its blood pressure lowering actions in a similar way as the drugs used to treat high blood pressure known as ACE inhibitors which block a key pathway involved in regulating blood pressure. In a similar way, PeptACE Fish Peptides reduce the blood volume and relax the artery walls and, in so doing, reduce the blood pressure. However, unlike the drug based versions of ACE inhibitors the PeptACE Fish Peptides are free of unwanted side effects because they do not actually inhibit (block) the ACE enzyme but react with in in a beneficial way. Knowledge about the effects of the 9 specific fish peptides in PeptACE may also help explain the observations noted in this key study published this June in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology.