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August 20, 2014 • Healthy Living, Heart Health

Probiotics for Healthy Blood Pressure

In a new report published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, consuming probiotics as part of a healthy lifestyle appears to significantly lower blood pressure levels, especially in those with hypertension. The analysis combined the results of nine previously published clinical trials and found that regular consumption of probiotics for eight weeks or longer lowered systolic blood pressure (the “top” number) by an average of 3.56 points and diastolic blood pressure (the “bottom” number) by 2.38 points relative to study subjects not consuming probiotics. Study subjects with high blood pressure had the greatest benefit. Probiotics are the “beneficial bacteria” residing in our GI tracts that continue to emerge as key players in all aspects of human health, including metabolic health. Given that metabolic health is fundamental to normal artery functioning, these results are not surprising. (Hypertension, 2014; 64:00-00. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469)
I remain highly enthusiastic about the potential benefits that can come from maintaining an abundance of good bacteria in our GI tracts, particularly for gastrointestinal health, cardiometabolic health, and mental health. Eating an abundance of plant foods is the number one strategy for getting there. Click here get the rest of my best advice on how to maintain a healthy gut “microbiome”.