Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Chicken soup has been known as a household cure for colds since time immemorial.
Now a lung specialist has found that there may well be a good scientific basis for its efficacy.
 
Many Americans believe that chicken soup is a cure for any number of ailments; they call it "Jewish penicillin". An American study has shown that this age-old household remedy does in fact have a positive effect on respiratory infections – and not long ago Japanese researchers demonstrated that its therapeutic value goes far beyond simply reducing the symptoms of a cold.

 

It’s a fact: chicken soup combats colds. But why?

Chicken soup reduces respiratory tract swelling
Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary specialist at the University of Nebraska, used a family soup recipe from his wife’s cookbook to identify how chicken soup combats infection. He discovered that when a cold is starting far too many white blood cells are transported into the mucous membranes in the nose.

“We were able to demonstrate that Grandma’s chicken soup has a slight, but clearly measurable ability to reduce the transport of these cells,” announced Rennard with a touch of pride. Eating chicken soup reduces swelling in your mucous membranes. So the soup does actually combat the symptoms of a cold. Exactly which substances in the soup are responsible for the positive effect is still being debated.

 

Chicken soup for circulatory problems!
Collagen from chicken feet can lower blood pressure. (Bildunterschrift)
Japanese researchers recently made the amazing discovery that eating chicken feet can help to reduce your blood pressure. “Quite honestly, the results were a huge surprise for me too,” admits scientist Dr. Ai Saiga-Egusa, "although, of course, I know that right across the Orient people at risk of heart problems or strokes are traditionally advised to drink chicken soup."

The first hint that chicken meat could have a positive effect on blood pressure emerged seven years ago. The research team suspected that chicken feet might contain large quantities of whatever substance was causing blood pressure to drop. Their research turned up an answer and the team was able to identify and extract this collagen hydrolysate.

The test phase showed that a daily dose of just three grams – in effect a good pinch – was enough to achieve a positive effect. Even relatively high blood pressure dropped measurably. The great advantage of this blood pressure therapy is that the substance extracted from chicken feet has absolutely no side effects – in contrast to many blood pressure drugs.

Functional foods
Dr. Saiga-Egusa and her team are now offering the substance to the food industry as a natural blood pressure therapy. For example as an additive for soft drinks, marketed as functional foods. Functional foods of this type, which contain health-promoting substances, are extremely popular in Japan. They are tightly regulated; the only additives allowed are natural substances that have a proven beneficial effect on health.

In Europe, functional foods are controversial because of the possibility of being unable to control the effects. But there would clearly be demand for a blood pressure therapy based on chicken feet extract. In Germany alone, around 20 percent of the population currently take blood pressure medication.


Author: Hendrik Jürgens