Good For You Bacteria Getting Even Better

July 23, 2014

Blood Pressure CheckA growing pile of research points to probiotics playing a key role in all aspects of our health. While probiotics have obvious correlations with things like lower risk of foodborne illness and better digestion—they have also been tied to things like weight loss, acne, autism, inflammatory illness like rheumatoid arthritis, and now lower blood pressure.

Yep, taking a probiotic is strongly correlated with getting lower blood pressure. Results were particularly obvious with people who started out with high blood pressure and people who took higher doses.

How does it work? On the front line, the good bacteria are likely helping to regulate digestion, which includes influence on cholesterol, blood sugar, and proteins & enzymes (which influence blood volume).

Researchers aren’t advocating taking probiotics in lieu of regular blood pressure management (although it may be a good addition). They’re going to focus next on which strains, and how much of each has the best effect on lowering blood pressure. In the study, people who got the best variety had the best results—so choose your yogurt, probiotic supplements, etc. by their long list of active strains, and include a few other sources of probiotics for good measure (make sure you either vet your food sources carefully, or have a strong immune system. Occasionally, unpasteurized cheeses or kombucha has a bad batch).

This could soon be an addition to other probiotic treatments being used to treat difficult bad stomach bacteria strains and obesity. Probiotics are an exciting corner of medicine—there’s hardly any downside, and the effect on health is so strongly positive that they should be a part of everyone’s routine.

Probiotics are especially important to take after:

-Completing a round of antibiotics
-Getting sick (especially food poisoning or stomach flu, but even just a bad sinus infection could potentially mess things up).
-A stay in the hospital

Do you take probiotics? Do you have good blood pressure?

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