High blood pressure or hypertension affects one third of all adult Americans – approximately 70 million people. It increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke which are leading causes of death in North America. Hypertension is being called a silent killer because it is often asymptomatic, and people do not realize they have it, until it is too late.
Could glutamic acid (amino acid) lower high blood pressure? This is the question that a study among almost 5,000 participants in the U.S., U.K., China and Japan, tried to answer. Results? Researchers reported that a 4.72% higher dietary intake of the amino acid glutamic acid – when derived from vegetables – did actually lower blood pressure. Glutamic acid can be found in high quantities in vegetables like broccoli, beans, whole grains, tofu and durum wheat.
Results Not Conclusive – Glutamic Acid May Not Lower Blood Pressure After All
Even though this specific study suggested that there was a correlation between the amino acid glutamic acid and lower blood pressure, the change was not that significant. The systolic blood pressure fell by an average of 1.5-3.0 mm of Hg and the diastolic blood pressure fell by 1.0 to 1.6 mm Hg. In other words, if your blood pressure was 150/100, you might have lowered it to 147/99. Yes, it is a lower value but clearly doesn’t solve your blood pressure problem naturally.
There is some conflicting evidence as well. The so called ‘Rotterdam Study’, conducted in the Netherlands, studied the impact various amino acids had on the older population. The researchers wanted to find out if there was a correlation between dietary protein (specific amino acids) and lower blood pressure.
Test subjects were given the amino acids glutamic acid, lysine, arginine, tyrosine and cysteine. Tyrosine reduced systolic blood pressure by 2.4 mm Hg, but not diastolic. None of the other amino acids, such as glutamic acid, seemed to lower blood pressure at all. Over a six-year period, none of the amino acids seemed to prevent the development of hypertension either.
While it makes sense to include green leafy vegetables in your diet, broccoli or glutamic acid dietary supplements clearly will not represent a natural cure for high blood pressure.