Pepsin-digested soy protein hydrolysate (SPH) has been reported to be responsible for many of the physiological benefits associated with soy protein consumption. In the present study, we investigated the effects of SPH with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory potential on blood pressure and renal injuries in rats with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME)-induced hypertension. Rats were fed a diet containing L-NAME (50 mg/kg body weight) with or without SPH (at 1%, 3%, or 5%) for 6 weeks. We found that ingestion of SPH ameliorated the development of hypertension during the 6-week experimental period. SPH was also found to ameliorate renal function by decreasing urinary protein excretion and elevating the creatinine clearance rate. The levels of kidney ACE activity, malonaldehyde, tumor necrosis factor-α and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and the expression of CYP4A decreased in the 5% SPH group. Consumption of 5% SPH also ameliorated renal damage according to the histopathological analysis. These findings suggest that SPH might ameliorate the elevation of blood pressure and show renoprotective effects in nitric oxide (NO)-deficient rats, and one possible mechanism might be mediation via its ACE inhibitory activity.
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