Probiotics may lower blood pressure


Researchers have found that eating probiotics may aid in lowering blood pressure.

A review published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension, stated that live bacteria and yeasts that are present in yoghurt or if taken as a food supplement have resulted in moderate reduction in blood pressure levels if taken for a period of two months or more.

Researchers reviewed nine studies of 543 adults with normal and elevated blood pressure levels.

They discovered that the consumption of probiotics resulted in the lowering of systolic pressure, which is the highest blood pressure reading when the heart is beating, by around 3.56mm of mercury (mm Hg). They found that diastolic blood pressure, which is the lowest level the blood pressure reaches when the heart relaxes between beats, was reduced by around 2.38 mm Hg, compared to those adults who did not consume probiotics.

Probiotics containing multiple bacteria were found to be more effective than those containing a single bacterium. The bacterial concentration per dose also had an effect.

The lead author of the study and senior lecturer at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, Dr Jing Sun, said the small studies the team examined suggests that regular consumption of probiotics should be part of a healthy eating lifestyle to aid in the reduction of blood pressure, and maintain healthy levels of blood pressure. She stated that this included probiotics found in cheese, supplements, sour milk, fermented milk and yoghurt.

Dr Sun said that it would be necessary to do further studies before doctors are able to recommend probiotics for controlling high blood pressure.

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