LifestyleDiscovering the best practices for blood pressure that protect the heart and brain

Discovering the best practices for blood pressure that protect the heart and brain

Hypertension can be life-threatening.
Hypertension can be life-threatening.
Images source: © Licensor | OLEKSANDRA TROIAN

2:14 PM EST, November 12, 2023

Scientists from Hong Kong and Mongolia have conducted studies suggesting a beneficial effect of probiotics on blood pressure. Though the results need confirmation, a breakthrough in the treatment of hypertension appears within reach.

Hypertension, one of the most common cardiovascular diseases, affects around 40 percent of the adult population globally. It is a condition where the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated, leading to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, or kidney failure.

The impact of probiotics on blood pressure

For the experiment, the scientists tested mice that had raised blood pressure due to fructose ingestion. The mice were divided into four groups. The first group was given water with fructose and a saline solution, the second group was given water with fructose and B. lactis bacteria, the third received water with fructose and L. rhamnosus bacteria, and the fourth (control) group had access only to pure water.

For a duration of 16 weeks, the researchers monitored the mice's blood pressure. The results showed that mice receiving Bifidobacterium lactis or Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria had markedly lower blood pressure compared to those not given probiotics. The rodents fed with fructose but untreated with probiotics continued to have high blood pressure.

Upcoming research

The scientists intend to carry out a substantial clinical study, involving human subjects this time, to evaluate whether probiotics' protective effect on blood pressure regulation extends to humans. Accordingly, they anticipate that "probiotics may offer a promising direction in preventive cardiovascular medicine".

"The accumulated evidence affirms the blood pressure-lowering effect of probiotics and probiotic fermented food, demonstrated through both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Consequently, we believe that the consumption of probiotic food could stand as an effective supplement to conventional hypertension treatment," shared study co-author Prof. Jun Li of City University, Hong Kong.

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