Probiotics Impact BP
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 10:29 AM

Probiotics cut blood pressure by roughly 4 mm Hg systolic and 2 mm Hg diastolic on average across clinical trials, a meta-analysis showed.

The effect was greater in hypertensive individuals and with multiple strains of gut microbiome-boosting bacteria. Overall, systolic pressure dropped by an average 3.56 mm Hg on probiotics, and diastolic pressure declined by an average 2.38 mm Hg, compared with control groups.  Those changes were on par with the impact of cutting more than 2g of salt intake per day and of resistance training exercise in recent meta-analyses, the researchers pointed out.

 "Even a small reduction of blood pressure may have important public health benefits and cardiovascular consequences."  The findings from the Heart Outcome Prevention Evaluation study showed that a modest reduction of systolic blood pressure by 3.3 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.4 mm Hg was associated with a 22% reduction in relative risk of cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke.

"These findings along with the results from the meta-analysis on the beneficial effect of probiotics on lipid profile suggest that probiotics may be used as a potential supplement for future interventions to prevent hypertension or improve blood pressure control," the authors wrote.

"The role of diet in the control of blood pressure is important."

"The clear message is they should not replace their antihypertensive with yogurt, but that they may get more blood pressure lowering if they add yogurt to their regimen."

"Probiotics wouldn't be a substitute for lifestyle management either, such as cutting sodium intake, getting more exercise, and losing weight."