For the first time, researchers have a likely explanation for why even modest calorie restriction is so beneficial for overweight people. At Emory University in Atlanta, scientists found that even losing less than 10% of one's body weight can significantly reduce the activity of an enzyme that affects blood pressure.
The enzyme, called ACE for angiotensin-converting enzyme, is found in the cells lining blood vessels. The protein it helps produce causes arteries to contract, raising blood pressure. Because ACE is produced by fatty tissue, the researchers reasoned that losing fat would diminish ACE and lower blood pressure in overweight people.