Probiotics May Have Blood Pressure Lowering Properties
High blood pressure is one of many factors that contribute to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. A recent study suggests that taking probiotics over the long term may help control blood pressure.
This analysis looked at nine different studies that included 543 adults. After analyzing the data, the researchers found that long term supplementation with probiotics was associated with an average drop of 3.56 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and an average 2.38 mmHg drop in diastolic blood pressure.
However, consuming probiotics for less than eight weeks did not lower blood pressure.
The researchers also found that there was a greater reduction in blood pressure when participants consumed probiotics with multiple bacteria versus those with only one strain. Additionally, greater reductions were seen in individuals who had elevated blood pressure (great than or equal to 130/85) at the beginning of the study.
Researchers from Griffith University in Australia conducted the study. It was published on July 21, 2014, in the journal Hypertension.
Probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health. However, they have also been shown to help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.