Eat More “Bugs” for Lower Blood Pressure
Every day there seems to be a new study heralding the work done by the billions of microorganisms in our guts. Probiotics, the live organisms (naturally occurring bacteria) in your body, are working overtime to keep us healthy, and now—according to recent research published in the AHA journal Hypertension (July 21, 2014, doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469)— it seems they could play a role in keeping our blood pressure in check.
“The small collection of studies we looked at suggest regular consumption of probiotics can be part of a healthy lifestyle to help reduce high blood pressure, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure levels,” said Jing Sun, PhD,
lead author and senior lecturer at the Griffith Health Institute and School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. “This includes probiotics in yogurt, fermented and sour milk and cheese, and probiotic supplements.”
After analyzing the results of nine studies examining blood pressure and probiotic consumption in 543 adults with normal and elevated blood pressure, researchers concluded that probiotics may help lower blood pressure by having other positive effects on health, including improving total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol; reducing blood glucose and insulin resistance; and helping to regulate the hormone system that controls blood pressure and fluid balance.