Cheese and Yogurt Contain Two Probiotics That Could Potentially Reduce High Blood Pressure
- Two probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis M8 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus M9, derived from human breast milk, have demonstrated antihypertensive effects in a mouse model with high fructose-induced hypertension.
- The research suggests that probiotics may offer a potential dietary strategy for managing hypertension by influencing gut microbes and related metabolic processes, thereby impacting blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
- Due to the small size of the study, more evidence and research are required to prove the effect of probiotics on hypertension.
Cheese and Yogurt for Hypertension?
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is responsible for causing a series of illnesses inside the human body.
This single disease is enough to initiate pathologic conditions that can be fatal to humans, e.g., Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes, Kidney Diseases, Strokes, and many more.
Research in the past has shown the positive effects of probiotics on healthy adults, including a better functioning immune and gastrointestinal system 1.
Furthermore, probiotics have improved hypertension induced by high-fructose consumption in animal models 2. So, HTN can be improved through better and more suitable dietary practices.
Researchers in China investigated the effect of two specific probiotics, Bifidobacterium lactis M8 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus M9, and their possible health effects on hypertension.
The study published in mSystems has presented these two strains as potential anti-hypertensive probiotics.
Dr. Jun Li from the City University of Hong Kong and Dr. Zhihong Sun from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University said in a press release 3,
“New research shows that probiotics and probiotic-rich foods may help lower blood pressure,”
suggesting that adding probiotic foods to your diet could be a helpful addition to standard hypertension treatments.
This small study could be revolutionary in the future treatment of blood pressure. However, due to its size, experts are still questioning its credibility and demanding more extensive research to support its findings.
Study settings and analysis
The Chinese scientists conducted experiments on mice that had developed elevated blood pressure from consuming fructose-infused water.
They tracked the mice’s blood pressure levels at regular intervals over a span of 16 weeks.
What they observed was that the mice exposed to fructose but treated with either of the two probiotic strains displayed notably lowered blood pressure compared to those mice subjected to a high-fructose diet without probiotic intervention.
The results of the study are tabulated below:
|Probiotics Treatment||Systolic Blood Pressure||Diastolic Blood Pressure|
|Bifidobacterium lactis M8||⇓ 16.92%||⇓ 18.56%|
|Lactobacillus rhamnosus M9||⇓ 15.39%||⇓ 20.62%|
Dr Li mentions that the findings suggest that employing probiotics can effectively maintain blood pressure at normal levels.
This suggestion comes from their investigation; hypertensive mice who received probiotic treatment had the same BP levels as the normotensive mice who only consumed water.
Moreover, their analysis disclosed novel microbial signatures associated with blood pressure regulation.
Elevated levels of Lawsonia and Pyrolobus bacteria were linked to lower blood pressure, while reduced levels of Alistipes and Alloprevotella were similarly associated with healthier blood pressure levels.
How do probiotics alter gut microbiota?
Probiotic consumption has been linked with changes in the comparable abundance of specific bacterial species in the gut.
Certain probiotics can increase the presence of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium 4.
Furthermore, they can reduce potentially harmful bacteria in the gut as they may stop the growth of pathogenic microbes such as Clostridium difficile 5.
Research has also suggested that probiotics can influence the immune system in the gut.
They can promote the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and stimulate the activity of immune cells, which can help in maintaining a balanced immune response in the gastrointestinal tract 6.
Probiotics (Cheese and Yogurt) Lower Blood Pressure
The effect of probiotics on blood pressure might be due to their ability to secrete angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides that work to lower blood pressure 7. However, further research is required to back this claim.
According to the AHA journal, high blood pressure is categorized as levels equal to or above 130/80, and a study has proven the positive effects of probiotic supplementation on BP levels of adults (>50 years) as well 8.
Nevertheless, it is always advised to discuss it with your healthcare professional before you start taking probiotic supplementations.
Probiotics have the best impact on high blood pressure when certain criteria are met, such as using multiple probiotic strains and having higher baseline blood pressure 9.
Considering how much blood pressure has impacted the lives of individuals globally, this new study is groundbreaking and can potentially participate in reducing mortality rates.
Should you add probiotics to your diet?
The study was done on mice, which raises the question of whether or not its findings are applicable to humans.
We also believe it might be too soon to speak on that. However, previous studies have continuously discovered the favorable effects of probiotics on human health.
A previous review concluded that probiotics work effectively to diminish signs and symptoms of bowel disorders, including lactose intolerance, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and infectious diarrhea 10. So, the use of probiotics is healthy for several conditions and not only HTN.
Furthermore, most people receive probiotics from their diets, so it is unlikely you will have to add supplements to your meals.
Correspondingly, the study found beneficial probiotic strains from cheese and yogurt, which already have multiple healthy effects.
So, incorporating cheese and yogurt in moderate amounts in your daily meals and eating a balanced diet will be enough for you.
Lastly, the researchers are planning to perform a large clinical trial to justify the effects of those two probiotic strains on human blood pressure.
So, we can expect to find out soon whether or not cheese and yogurt can treat high blood pressure.