The genetically modified rice could prove beneficial for high blood pressure.

High blood pressure or hypertension often goes unnoticed. When ignored for long, it can lead to serious health issues including heart ailments. Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet are mostly blamed for causing hypertension. And, for patients dealing with it, many foods are eliminated from their diet – caffeine, excessive salt, sugary foods, alcohol and also high-starch rice. But, a new type of rice has been invented by scientists that may actually be good for managing high blood pressure. Imagine having only a spoonful of rice to manage high blood pressure and doing away with over-the-counter-medications!

According to the study published in in ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a special type of transgenic rice was created that contains several anti-hypertensive peptides, with low side effects than the present-day medications administered for treating hypertension.

A compound called ACE inhibitors is commonly prescribes to hypertension patients. It is available in the form of synthetic drugs and even found naturally in some foods like milk, eggs, fish, meat and plants. While it may prove effective in suppressing high blood pressure, it may also show side effects like headache, dry cough, skin rashes and kidney impairment. 

Researchers under the leadership of Le Qing Qu introduced a gene to rice plants that contained nine ACE-inhibitory peptides, and fed the transgenic rice to hypertensive rats. The rice was found to lower their blood pressure level without any side effects.

If these peptides have the same effects in humans, a 150-pound adult would need to eat only about half a tablespoon of the genetically-modified rice daily to prevent and regulate hypertension, according to the researchers. “Our work provides an alternative source of natural antihypertensive agents,” wrote Le Qing Qu. 

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