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Hemp for healthy hearts

Hemp Seed (Cannabis sativa L.) Proteins: Composition, Structure, Enzymatic Modification, and Functional or Bioactive Properties

The proteins in hemp seeds are mainly edestin (about 75%) and albumin (about 25%), which contribute to their nutritional value. Notably, hemp seeds have a high content of arginine, an amino acid, and a sulfur-rich protein fraction. These unique features make hemp seeds highly nutritious. 

Researchers have developed a concentrated form of hemp seed protein with over 70% solubility, making it more soluble than most plant proteins. Adding hemp seed protein to the diet of rats with kidney disease reduced the severity of the disease and improved associated cardiovascular issues. Additionally, hemp seed enzymatic hydrolysates, created through specific processes, have demonstrated antioxidant and antihypertensive properties in lab tests.

Overall, these findings suggest that hemp seed proteins and their derivatives have the potential to be used as ingredients in functional foods, offering both nutritional benefits and potential health advantages, especially for conditions like kidney disease and hypertension.

heart health, hemp protein


Structural and functional characterization of hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) protein-derived antioxidant and antihypertensive peptides

Abraham T. Girgih, Rong. He, Sunday. Malomo, Offengenden. Marina, Jianping. Wu, Rotimi E. Aluko

This study looked at the potential benefits of a substance called hemp seed protein hydrolysate (HPH) on heart health. HPH was created by simulating the digestion of hemp seed proteins. In the study, researchers found that HPH contains short-chain peptides, which are small pieces of proteins. Two of these peptides, showed strong antioxidant properties, meaning they can help fight harmful molecules in the body.

When tested on rats with high blood pressure (SHRs), these peptides also led to a significant reduction in blood pressure. 

In simple terms, the study suggests that peptides derived from hemp seeds, may have both antioxidant and blood pressure-lowering effects, which could be good for heart health. These natural substances might be considered as alternatives to synthetic drugs for managing conditions like high blood pressure.

A double-blind, randomized, crossover trial protocol of whole hemp seed protein and hemp seed protein hydrolysate consumption for hypertension
Maryam SamsamikorDylan MackayRebecca C. Mollard & Rotimi E. Aluko 

This study focused on the potential heart health benefits of hemp seed protein (HSP), a dietary protein derived from hemp seeds. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major health concern, and lifestyle changes, including dietary interventions, play a crucial role in its prevention and management.

The researchers highlight the increasing interest in dietary protein intake as a potential strategy to prevent or manage hypertension. They specifically explore plant-based proteins and identify hemp seed protein as a promising candidate due to its unique amino acid profile, especially its high arginine content. Arginine is an amino acid associated with potential blood pressure-reducing effects.

The study mentions that while various proteins, both animal and plant-based, have been investigated for their impact on blood pressure, hemp seed protein's effects have not been well-characterised. The unique amino acid composition of hemp seed protein, particularly its high arginine levels, makes it an interesting subject for studying its potential anti-hypertensive effects.

The researchers refer to previous experiments in which hemp seed protein isolate and bioactive peptides derived from hemp seed protein hydrolysate showed positive effects in preventing and treating hypertension in rats. Bioactive peptides are short amino acid sequences that can be released from proteins through hydrolysis and are known for their potential health benefits.

In summary, the research suggests that hemp seed protein, rich in arginine and bioactive peptides, may have positive effects on blood pressure and could serve as a valuable dietary component for heart health. The proposed clinical trial aims to provide more insights into the specific benefits of hemp seed protein on hypertension in humans.