An enzyme called ACE2 may help doctors develop an alternative therapy for patients suffering from hypertension, a new study has found.
According to researchers at the Northwestern University School of Medicine, ACE2 can break down angiotensin II, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict and may raise blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Currently there are traditional therapies that can block the formation of angiotensin II, but ACE2 is novel because it can break down hazardous protein that is already formed in blood vessels.
"This therapeutic approach can be superior to existing therapies that block the activity of the renin-angiotensin system and therefore provide a more complete and effective suppression of this system to treat not just hypertension but many other medical conditions where angiotensin II overactivity is undesirable," said lead researcher Daniel Batlle.
The Mayo Clinic reports that diet and exercise are the best ways to naturally lower blood pressure. There are also several supplements that may be used to help treat hypertension including calcium, cod liver oil, omega-3 fatty acids and garlic.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing have been known to relieve stress and temporarily lower blood pressure.