Probiotics may help lower blood pressure

In addition to helping your gut, probiotics may also help lower your blood pressure. According to new research from Griffith University in Australia, consuming probiotics--a form of healthy bacteria--from either food sources, such as yogurt, or dietary supplements, can have a positive impact on blood pressure.

The research team analyzed nine high-quality studies of probiotic effects in 543 individuals with either normal or high blood pressure. They found that people who took daily probiotics for eight weeks or longer had a 3.5 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure and a 2.38 mm Hg lower diastolic blood pressure compared to people who were not on probiotics. The best results were found in people with high blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or greater.

Probiotics not only lowered high blood pressure, it maintained healthy blood pressure as well. Probiotics containing multiple bacteria were the most effective. However, taking probiotics for less than eight weeks did not change blood pressure.

It’s believed that probiotics affects blood pressure by lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, limiting insulin resistance and regulating hormones that control fluid balance and blood pressure.

The researchers noted that probiotics should not be recommended for high blood pressure treatment until further studies are performed.

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