Do Probiotics Help With High Blood Pressure? What Current Science Says
7 minute read
Probiotics are all the rage for promoting gut health and optimal digestion. As research starts to show a link between gut health and overall health, the benefits of probiotics seem to spread beyond your intestinal lining.
These friendly bacteria can enhance your immune system, ease digestive troubles, and now can be used to regulate your blood pressure too. With heart disease being a growing concern, probiotic supplements may be coming to the rescue just in time.
Bacteria That Benefits Blood Pressure
Since the discovery that a digestive health probiotic can boost your immune system and digestive health, researchers and consumers alike have been fascinated with these microscopic organisms. Given that trillions of bacteria live within the human body, it makes perfect sense that probiotics would be beneficial to our survival.
Studies have found that probiotics have the ability to lower blood pressure, both diastolic and systolic numbers. Your systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heartbeats. Diastolic pressure refers to the pressure in your blood between heartbeats.
The studies also found that the benefits were even greater with multi strain probiotics versus single strains were taken.
In addition to this, probiotics have been shown to reduce fibrinogen and lower cholesterol levels. Fibrinogen is a protein that can cause arterial clogs when it accumulates, thus increasing your risk for heart disease. High levels of cholestrol can also contribute to the build-up of plaques in your arteries.
By reducing these and lowering your risk for plaques, probiotics keep your arteries healthy and your blood pressure regulated.
Why You Need to Control Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious risk factor for heart disease. It is also strongly associated with other serious conditions like kidney disease.
Hypertension is one of the country's leading health problems and is something we can easily control. Diet and lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure, and now it seems the addition of probiotics can help out, too.
There are a number of serious health risks that come with uncontrolled blood pressure. Without treatment, hypertension can lead to the following:
♦ Weakened or narrowed blood vessels
♦ Heart attack
♦ Metabolic syndrome
♦ Memory or cognitive impairment
What Else Can You Do to Lower Your BP?
Because of the seriousness of untreated hypertension and the increased incidence of heart disease in the country, it is important to monitor your blood pressure and take caution should it become too high.
A daily dose of a high-quality pre and probiotic supplement will certainly help boost overall health and help you regulate blood pressure, but there are additional things you can do, too.
Getting regular exercise doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. The best exercise to do daily for lowering blood pressure is walking. Walking for thirty minutes a day helps to promote circulation, reduce cholesterol, and improves blood pressure. The best part is that you can choose your scenery and enjoy the walk with a friend too.
Cut Back on Salt
Excessive sodium intake has been linked to elevated blood pressure. With so many packaged and processed foods in the typical Western diet, it is easy to see why sodium intake and blood pressure are such problems. Cutting back on salt intake as well as cooking with more herbs and spices will keep your food tasting great and help protect you from hypertension.
Eat More Potassium
Potassium is an important mineral that helps your body to get rid of excess sodium and promotes blood vessel health. Modern diets have not only increased sodium intake but have seen a reduction in potassium, leading to a higher incidence of hypertension.
By adding more potassium-rich foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, tuna, and dairy, you can help keep your blood pressure in check.
Cut Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol can increase your blood pressure to dangerous levels, so it is always best to limit alcohol consumption if you are battling with high blood pressure.
Caffeine produces an immediate spike in blood pressure and has an even stronger effect on those who do not drink it regularly. To better control your blood pressure limit your coffee consumption or opt for tea, which is typically lower in caffeine.
Obesity and excess weight contribute to a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and systemic inflammation. It can also negatively impact your blood pressure, but losing weight provides an almost instant reduction.
Weight loss and regular exercise combined will improve blood vessel function and ultimately improve blood pressure levels too.
Watch What You Eat
Along with salt, you also want to cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates. Excessive sugar has been linked to elevated blood pressure levels. Refined carbohydrates are just as dangerous, as these are quickly converted to sugar in the blood.
| Related: How Probiotics May Be a Natural Weight-Loss Solution |
Low carbohydrate diets and reduced sugar intake have been found to promote healthier blood pressure levels as well as overall better health. Too many sugary and refined carbohydrate snacks also contribute to weight gain, which can raise blood pressure levels too.
Most of the bad news on smoking focuses on the damage to your lungs, but it also does serious damage to your blood vessels and blood pressure. Many studies have found conclusive evidence that smoking increases blood pressure.
In the same way, quitting can cause improvements almost right away. Even if you have been smoking for years, there is still time to quit and reap the many health benefits.
The Bottom Line
High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and eventually cardiac arrest, as well as other serious and long-term health conditions. As serious as it is, there is good news.
You can regulate your blood pressure with a healthy diet, regular exercise, cutting out bad habits, and adding a high-quality probiotic supplement to the mix. As part of a heart-healthy lifestyle, probiotics may be just the added defense and help you need.