Gut bacteria could affect blood pressure
The bacteria found naturally in the gut, or ‘normal flora’, could have a significant impact on blood pressure. The key to this link is the discovery by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and Yale University that the same odor-receptors found on cells in the nose are also present in blood vessels throughout the body.
Gut bacteria generate specific molecules in response to changes in the stomach. These molecules are then detected by the odor-sensing receptors in blood vessels within the stomach. So, when these molecular changes happen in the gut, the receptors respond to the change by elevating or lowering the body’s blood pressure.
This discovery could provide key insights into the effects of antibiotics, probiotics and diet changes on blood pressure.