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Chicken Soup at Passover - More than a Healthy Meal

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Chicken Soup

Information from the American Chemical Society (ACS) reminds us of the potential health benefits of chicken and matzoh ball soup. Japanese researchers have found powerful blood pressure lowering properties from collagen proteins found in chicken legs and feet, making chicken soup served at Passover more than just a healthy meal.

According to a Japanese study, originally published in the American Chemical Society's publication, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, September 2008, chicken soup could have a new role for good health by keeping blood pressure under control.

Because matzoh ball soup will be on Passover menus beginning April 8, the ACS seems to be raising awareness of the study to educate about the lesser-known health benefits of chicken soup for lowering blood pressure – especially chicken soup made with the right chicken parts.

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Previous studies, cited by Japanese researchers Ai Saiga, Ph.D., and colleagues, show that chicken breast contains collagen proteins that act just like ACE inhibitors – blood pressure medications that are widely used to treat hypertension. The proteins are more prevalent in chicken legs and feet than in chicken breasts.

Rats given the collagen extracted from chicken legs for study purposes, experienced, and sustained, lower blood pressure readings after being fed the chicken collagen. The proteins in chicken legs acted like ACE inhibitors. The scientists found four different collagen proteins in chicken legs that had powerful blood pressure lowering effects.

According to the ACS press release - “there is no word that (matzoh balls) cure anything except a healthy appetite”. The findings suggest that chicken broth, widely consumed during Passover, really might have genuine health benefits, by keeping blood pressure under control.

Reference: ACS