Could Probiotics Help Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally?

by Leigh on January 22, 2015

blood pressure probioticsAustralian researchers are investigating the potential for probiotics to help lower blood pressure naturally. The scientists, who work at the Griffith Health Institute and School of Medicine, Griffith University, and Cardiac Services/Cardiology, Gold Coast Health, Australia, carried out a systematic review of the evidence from randomised controlled trials where people with hypertension took certain strains of probiotics.

Evidence from 9 trials was included in the analysis, and the researchers found that probiotic consumption had a significant effect on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Compared to control groups, probiotics reduced systolic BP by 3.56 mm HG, and diastolic BP by 2.38 mm Hg. Multistrain formulas had a greater effect on blood pressure, but the probiotics had to be taken for at least 8 weeks for any significant effect to be noted.


The potency of the probiotic formulas were also important, with those supplements containing less than 100 billion (10 to the power 11) colony-forming units (CFUs) having no significant effect. Patients whose blood pressure was higher than 130/85 mm HG before the start of the study had a more significant decrease in blood pressure with probiotic use.

The mechanism behind this apparent ability of probiotics to naturally lower blood pressure remains unconfirmed, but it may be that the anti-inflammatory effects of these friendly bacteria, as well as their impact on immune function and cholesterol levels could play a role in their apparent hypotensive effects. Probiotics may now be added to beetroot and flaxseed as natural interventions to control blood pressure.

Reference

Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N, Jayasinghe R. Effect of probiotics on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Hypertension. 2014 Oct;64(4):897-903.


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