Interesting findings for those who have high blood pressure. Long-term probiotic intake may control this condition according to a research review that appears in Hypertension, the American Heart Association’s peer-reviewed journal. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in our digestive tract. The review examined a group of studies, all randomized, controlled trials on probiotic intake and blood pressure. The findings suggest that routine intake of probiotics as part of an overall healthy, active lifestyle appears to offer a moderate reduction in high blood pressure numbers and the ability to keep pressure at healthy levels.
The systematic review and meta analysis was conducted by a team from Griffith University and Gold Coast Health in Australia and included nine studies that looked at probiotic consumption and blood pressure in 549 subjects who had both normal and high blood pressure numbers, some had high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome and some were overweight or obese. The species of organisms and dose used and how long they were used varied by trial.
The probiotics in the studies came from yogurt, fermented and sour milk and probiotic cheese as well as from encapsulated supplements and rose hip drinks. The daily bacteria volume of 109 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) or more was shown to bring the best results. A probiotic that had multiple bacteria strains brought down blood pressure more effectively than did those with a single strain.
Also of note that 6 of the 9 studies examined had small numbers, 20-40 subjects in all. Some of the studies were short, only lasting three to nine weeks.
Probiotic intake was shown to bring down the systolic (top number) readings by an average 3.56; the diastolic (bottom) number by an average of 2.38 mm Hg. The positive impact on the numbers were best on those whose original blood pressure readings was equal or greater than 130/85, a level considered to be high normal by healthcare professionals. Using dairy as the source of probiotics was found to offer a better reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure than getting probiotics from other sources.
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Studies Show Probiotics Improve Blood Pressure Continued…
The reason for the positive effect on blood pressure may be the benefits to improving total cholesterol and LDL, cutting blood sugar and insulin resistance and assisting with regulation of the hormone system that manages blood pressure and the balance of fluids.
When it comes to high blood pressure there are some things doctors suggest you do to help keep your numbers in the healthy range. Stop smoking. Eat a healthy diet and cut out the salt. Stay within the recommended amounts of alcohol intake and be sure to get enough exercise every day. Follow whatever treatment guidelines your own healthcare team has given you and don’t ever stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor.
More work in the area of probiotics and blood pressure will need to be done, as the work to date has been small. Finding the most effective probiotic, and the right dose, as well as for how long these should be taken are all areas of future study.
To your good health,