Adding probiotics to the daily diet helps manage hypertension, says a new study.
Probiotics or the "good bacteria" are live microorganisms similar to the helpful bacteria found in human gut. Probiotics, available either in the form of dietary supplements or foods, are thought to boost human health.
The study reported in the American Heart Association journal's Hypertension looked at 543 people, including those who were suffering from high blood pressure.
Probiotics with a bacteria volume of 109 CFU (colony-forming units) and that contained multiple bacteria successfully helped in keeping blood pressure under control. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure went down (3.56 and 2.38 millimetres of mercury or mm Hg respectively) in people who consumed probiotics for more than two months. People with a high BP reading above 130/85 benefitted the most.
"The small collection of studies we looked at suggest regular consumption of probiotics can be part of a healthy lifestyle to help reduce high blood pressure, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure levels," lead author of the study Dr Jing Sun, Griffith University, Queensland in Australia, said in a news release. "This includes probiotics in yogurt, fermented and sour milk and cheese, and probiotic supplements."
Probiotics may have facilitated this by influencing other important systems in the body, the researchers, while explaining the mechanism, said. "We believe probiotics might help lower blood pressure by having other positive effects on health, including improving total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol; reducing blood glucose and insulin resistance; and by helping to regulate the hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance," Sun explained.
It was a Russian Nobel laureate named Elie Metchnikoff, who first explored health benefits associated with eating microorganisms and introduced the concept of probiotics, meaning "for life" to the world in 1907.
Research shows that probiotics may help in many other ways. It includes prevention of type 2 diabetes, losing belly fat, protecting children against risk of chronic skin disorder eczema and infants against gastrointestinal disorders, fighting fatty liver disease and treating neurodevelopmental disorder. Probiotics work by restoring the bacterial balance in the digestive tract, distorted by poor diet or diseases, according to the experts from the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine. They put forward some other health benefits associated with probiotics. In their view it can cure diarrhoea in children, prevent colon tumour, boost level of good cholesterol and treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).