Probiotics may be helpful for those with high BP: study

22 July 2014

A new study suggests that consumption of probiotics found in yoghurt and other dairy products not only helped in aiding digestion but might help in controlling blood pressure too.

Probiotics which are 'good bacteria' are generally found in fermented food. The bacteria  basically help keep the intestines healthy and assist in digestion of food.

In the study, researchers analysed results of nine high-quality studies examining blood pressure and probiotic consumption in 543 adults having normal and elevated blood pressure.

They found that systolic blood pressure, (the higher number) was reduced by an average 3.56 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) while diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) was lowered an average 2.38 mm Hg.

Probiotics was found to have the greatest poisitive effect in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated.

The study further revealed that probiotics with multiple bacteria lowered blood pressure more than probiotics with a single bacteria, the study found.

Dr Harmony Reynolds with NYU Langone Medical Center said over a large group of people, when one looked at a population, a lower blood pressure by even two or three points could have an impact on important things- the risk of stroke, death and heart attack, so we take very seriously a small decrease in blood pressure reported.

Patients would need to consume probiotics, regularly, for at least 8 weeks, to see a modest drop in blood pressure.

However, according to Dr Reynolds it was not clear that a supplement was as beneficial as getting probiotics from one's food.

She added, sometimes people changed their diet, exercised more, and probiotic was part of that healthy eating plan.

According to researchers more studies were needed before doctors could recommend probiotics for high blood pressure and prevention.

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