probiotics

Probiotics can help lower blood pressure


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(NaturalNews) From helping prevent asthma to treating stomach ulcers, probiotics are being found to be incredibly beneficial. These live microorganisms found in foods like yogurt and sour cream have now been found to help improve our blood pressure through their regular consumption. Recent research has found that individuals who regularly consume probiotics over an extended period of time (at least eight weeks) modestly lower their blood pressure.

It is estimated that one in every three Americans suffer from high blood pressure. This is said to cost the United States over $100 billion in healthcare services per year (estimated from a 2008 study) due to the fact that high blood pressure can lead to brain damage, heart disease and premature aging. The ability to naturally suppress high blood pressure with fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals is vitally important.

New Research

Research published in the journal Hypertension analyzed the results of nine other probiotic studies (over 540 adult participants). The researchers found that, compared to participants who did not consume probiotics, individuals who consumed probiotics (including the ones found in yogurt) on a regular basis lowered their systolic blood pressure on average by 3.56 mm Hg (mercury) and diastolic blood pressure by 2.38 mm Hg. The results were only found in the consumption of probiotics that had at least 109 colony-forming units (commonly called CFU). Any probiotics with fewer colonies were not found to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

Dr. Jing Sun, the lead author of the study, said, "We believe probiotics might help lower blood pressure by having other positive effects on health, including improving total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol; reducing blood glucose and insulin resistance; and by helping to regulate the hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance." He also mentioned that many of the studies they analyzed tended to be smaller, which could have affected the results and indicates that more research is needed on the topic.

Other Benefits of Probiotics

As mentioned, probiotics can also help in preventing asthma and treating stomach ulcers but have also been found to help fight the common cold and flu. It has been found that probiotics can help prevent asthma by calming the associated inflammation and thus helping promote healthy immune reactions.

When it comes to treating stomach ulcers, research published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology indicates that probiotics may be more beneficial than conventional antibiotics for treating stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. The study showed that continual, long-term consumption of probiotics by mice prevented ulcers from developing and also reversed some of the damage as well.

Finally, one of the most common uses of probiotics is for preventing colds and even the flu. Probiotics have been shown to help boost our immune system, thus preventing colds and flu and even helping decrease our recovery time.

Conclusion

Probiotics really are an amazing natural tool that can keep our immune system in top shape, but they can also play roles in other physiological aspects like lowering blood pressure. Add a regular serving of high-quality probiotics (with a high enough CFU) into your diet to get some of their amazing health benefits!

Sources for this article include:

http://www.sciencedaily.com

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http://science.naturalnews.com

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