The Link Between Amino Acids And High Blood Pressure

Experts are constantly seeking to know more about high blood pressure. Let’s examine this amino acid and high blood pressure relationship as you read on.

Checking blood pressure

High blood pressure is fast becoming a major global burden. Come to think of it, one out of every 4 male adults worldwide has high blood pressure. In the same vein, one out of every 5 women has a high BP. Asides from these people; about 30 to 50 percent of people all around the world are prehypertensive. Looking at these figures, it becomes clear why experts are seeking to know more about this condition. Well, recent research is now pointing to how amino acids may affect BP. So experts are now focusing on the individual roles of aminos acids in blood pressure regulation. Let’s examine this amino acid’s high blood pressure relationship as you read on.

For a long time, experts have established certain factors in the development of hypertension. Some of the major factors include high intake of sodium, lack of enough physical activities, and excess weight. But aside from these major factors, a few other dietary and lifestyle factors can also influence blood pressure levels. While the focus of research experts was first neurotransmitter aminos, several other aminos appear to play roles in activating brain structures that produce blood pressure changes. These aminos have physiological importance. But knowing how they affect blood pressure may help in managing and treating blood pressure. It may also help those who are already prehypertensive manage their BP well so that they will not become hypertensive.

Amino Acids High Blood Pressure Relationship

When it comes to blood pressure and cardiovascular control, experts have known for a long that GABA, glutamate, and glycine have vital effects. They first discovered this in 1954.

By 1955, experts reported that intravenous GABA can help reduce blood pressure. Later on, they identified that GABA acts on the CNS with various approaches like blocking ganglion cells, as well as direct stimulation.

Furthermore, injecting certain amino acids intracisternal has been shown to reduce blood pressure. These aminos include alanine, glycine, taurine, and GABA. Experts refer to these aminos as central depressors.

As regards pressor response (that is the increase of blood pressure); intravenous glutamate can elevate blood pressure. The first demo of this pressor effect was on rabbits and dogs in 1954. Now, experts are suggesting that the active site of glutamate is the medulla’s vasomotor center.

Later, experts examined intracisternal glutamate and found that it produced strong pressor responses in dogs. It seems that this pressor amino only excites the neurons and not the axons that affect blood pressure (BP) regulation.

A lot of experts have made major findings on how several aminos mediate in BP regulation. But a lot of work still needs to be done. We need to understand how these aminos interact with several other factors to affect blood pressure levels.

Different Amino Acids and How They Affect Blood Pressure

Intracisternal injections of certain aminos produce pressor responses, while some others produce depressor response. Let’s take a look at them.

Aminos producing pressor responses are those that lead to the elevation of blood pressure. They are as follows:

  • Proline
  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamate
  • Aspartic acid
  • Asparagine

How much these aminos would increase your BP usually depends on the dosage. But the effect of whatever dosage of these aminos is given usually peaks at about 1 to 10 minutes after injection. Within an hour, however, the blood pressure would often return to normal. Aside from BP elevation, cysteine also elevates the heart for about 1 to 5 minutes.

Experts examined how different stereoisomers differ in affecting blood pressure. They compared L-Arginine with D-Arginine. They found that the only major difference is that D-Arginine effects usually last longer than 1 hour.

We know that L-arginine is an enzymatic substrate for the synthesis of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes a lowering of blood pressure. However, D-arginine does not affect nitric oxide synthesis in any way.

As such, it is clear that nitric oxide synthesis has nothing to do with the effects of L-arginine on blood pressure. This is because both D-arginine and L-arginine exert pressor responses and elevated blood pressure.

Still, on stereo-specificity, the stereoisomer of proline that exerts pressor response is L-Proline. D-proline, on the other hand, seems to exert a mild depressor response. This means that L-proline acts on certain neuronal receptors that are not amenable to D-proline. Experts are gradually unraveling the mechanisms behind this.

Intracisternal injection of certain aminos also produces depressor responses. They include:

  1. Serine
  2. Sarcosine (N-methyl-glycine)
  3. Alanine
  4. Taurine
  5. GABA
  6. Glycine

It took about 1 molar concentration of these aminos to produce the depressor effects. But for the taurine, it only took 0.5 molars. Asides from reducing BP, these aminos also caused bradycardia.

The depressor effects of these aminos usually peak at about 5 to 30 minutes after the injection. Just like it is in the case of pressor effects, the blood pressure will often return to its original level within an hour.

Serine is quite peculiar among all other depressor aminos. Its depressor effect comes with transient pressor effects that last for about 5 to 10 minutes. No other amino produces this kind of effect. It seems that serine induces this two-phase BP changes through different mechanisms.

Concluding Thoughts

We don’t yet know all there is to know about how aminos affect blood pressure. Experts are, therefore, still at work, conducting more and more research on this subject matter. There is more to how aminos affect blood pressure because we don’t eat individual aminos from food. We eat proteins that contain quite a few aminos.

As such, we need to understand how the synergistic effects of various aminos on blood pressure. More so, we must factor in how gut microbiota interacts with amino metabolism in the development of hypertension.

Amino acids high blood pressure relationship may help forge new approaches to treating or managing hypertension in the future. But as of now, if you are trying to regulate your BP, you should follow medical advice and make necessary lifestyle changes. Don’t rely on alternative therapies and don’t even start one except you first confer with your doctor.

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