Over the past decade, interest has risen in fermented dairy foods that promote health and could prevent diseases such as hypertension. This biological effect has mainly been attributed to bioactive peptides encrypted within dairy proteins that can be released during fermentation with specific lactic acid bacteria or during gastrointestinal digestion.
The most studied bioactive peptides derived from dairy proteins are antihypertensive peptides; however, a need exists to review the different studies dealing with the evaluation of antihypertensive fermented milk before a health claim may be associated with the product.
Thus, the objective of this overview was to present available information related to the evaluation of fermented milk containing antihypertensive peptides by in vitro and in vivo studies, which are required before a fermented functional dairy product may be introduced to the market.
Although commercial fermented milks with antihypertensive effects exist, these are scarce and most are based on Lactobacillus helveticus. Thus, a great opportunity is available for the development of functional dairy products with new lactic acid bacteria that support heart health through blood pressure- and heart rate-lowering effects. Hence, the consumer may be willing to pay a premium for foods with important functional benefits.