Not all bacteria are bad ― lower hypertension with probiotics.
Risk factors for high blood pressure include a salt-rich diet, obesity and low levels of physical activity. Besides adopting a healthy lifestyle, researchers have found that consuming probiotics may help combat the condition.
Although one may associate bacteria with infection and disease, probiotics ― healthy bacteria ― actually support the body’s health. According to Harvard University research, probiotics may be helpful in lowering high blood pressure. They also aid in healthy digestion, reducing the incidence of colds and flus and in combatting urinary tract infections.
How does it work? Having high levels of blood cholesterol strains the cardiovascular system, which in turn can raise blood pressure in some people. Probiotics help reduce cholesterol levels by “eating” the cholesterol in the intestine. Elevated blood sugar levels can also cause hypertension and probiotics can reduce blood sugar levels by combating insulin resistance and increasing the pancreas’ production of insulin.
In one study, researchers found that probiotics have the potential to mediate hypertension via positive modulation of several different physiological systems, apart from its conventional benefits for gastrointestinal health. The probiotics exhibited antihypertensive potential by improving lipid profiles, insulin resistance, modulation of renin, and the bioconversion of bioactive isoflavones.
They concluded that their findings point to the potential use of dietary alternatives such as probiotics, to alleviate the occurrence of metabolic diseases via a less radical approach compared to drugs or hormone therapy, with milder, if not no, known side effects. Probiotics could also serve as a complementary supplement to enhance the well-being for those already suffering from high blood pressure and taking drugs or hormonal therapy to medicate the condition. Further revelation on the potential of probiotics in future research could lead to a boost in probiotic-fermented food industries–dairy and non–dairy.
Natural sources of probiotics include fermented tofu, kefir and yogurt. Probiotics are also available in supplement form. Harvard states though that probiotics are generally safe and well tolerated, but for those with intestinal damage or impaired immunity, they should be avoided.
Besides frequent blood pressure checks, exercise, and healthy eating habits, there are other completely natural and effective treatments for high blood pressure. RESPeRATE, for example, is the first medical device clinically proven to lower blood pressure. This non-drug device interactively guides the user through unique breathing exercises that relax constricted blood vessels, and thereby reduce blood pressure levels. It also reduces stress.