Davisco Foods International, Inc., of Le Sueur, MN, the world's leading producer of whey protein isolate, announced here today the results from a clinical study on the effects of whey protein hydrolysates on conscious, unrestrained spontaneously-hypertensive rats (SHR).

Results indicated that single oral administration of BioZate(TM), at doses of 75 or 150mg/kg, significantly reduced mean arterial blood pressure from 1 to 7 hours after administration. The study also showed that blood pressure returned to the initial level within 24 hours after administration.

In making the announcement, Marty Davis, General Manager of Davisco's whey protein operations, said that hypertension has been reported to be one of the most important factors leading to heart attacks in industrialized countries. "Nearly 30 per cent of fatalities among adults are the result of hypertension or its renal, coronary or neurological complications," Davis explained. "In the United States, more than 50 million adults suffer from hypertension. Based on the rat study results, we have begun further studies on humans using BioZate."

The experiments were carried out in conscious SHR to characterize the antihypertensive effects and establish the dose response curves for BioZate. SHR are considered a genetic model of essential hypertension and are currently used to understand the development and establishment of hypertension and to determine blood pressure lowering effect of newly synthesized antihypertensive drugs and the properties of specific whey protein hydrolyzates.

Davisco's BiPRO(R) (ion-exchange whey protein isolate) and BioZate (Hydrolyzed BiPRO) were examined. The effects of BioZate on mean and phasic blood pressure and heart rate were investigated in conscious unrestrained male SHR. The animals were chronically instrumented with one intravascular catheter implanted in the left femoral artery to permit a continuous recording of blood pressure and heart rate. This experimental approach constitutes a unique and powerful tool to investigate the hemodynamic responses to whey protein in conscious rats.

By directly and continuously recording blood pressure, it was easier to take into account the variability and make more reliable blood pressure measurements. Moreover, the rats in this study were well adapted to the system, and direct measurement of blood pressure was made without causing pain or stress to the animals. The direct and continuous recording of blood pressure and heart rate in conscious, unrestrained animals represents a clear advantage over other non-invasive techniques. All experimental procedures followed institutional animal care guidelines.

For further information about the antihypertensive effect of BioZate on SHR, Davisco Foods International and the line of whey protein ingredients, contact Polly Olson at (612) 914-0400 or visit Davisco's Web site at www.leadingthewhey.com.