Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) are medications that slow (inhibit) the activity of the enzyme ACE, which decreases the production of angiotensin II. As a result, blood vessels enlarge or dilate, and blood pressure is reduced.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (EC 188.8.131.52), or ACE, is a central component of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS), which controls blood pressure by regulating the volume of fluids in the body. It converts the hormone angiotensin I to the active vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. Therefore, ACE indirectly increases blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict. ACE inhibitors are widely used as pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Angiotensin is a peptide hormone that causes vasoconstriction and an increase in blood pressure. It is part of the renin–angiotensin system, which regulates blood pressure. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex to promote sodium retention by the kidneys.
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