Lower blood pressure could be achieved through eating probiotics, the "good" bacteria found in yogurt, a new study finds.
According to Reuters
, the new study was published in the most recent issue of the scientific journal Hypertension, and reported that many people saw a modest drop in blood pressure in at little as two months.
To compile their report, researchers combined the results of nine studies that instructed some subjects to take probiotics and some to avoid them. After tallying all the data, it appeared the more probiotics were correlated with lower blood pressure.
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"Over a large group of people, when you look at a population, a lower blood pressure by even two or three points can have an impact on important things: the risk of stroke, death and heart attack. So we take very seriously a small decrease in blood pressure," Harmony Reynolds, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told CBS News
Researchers suspect that the micro-organisms helped lower blood pressure many of the 550 people involved through a variety of means. They say probiotics could be lowering cholesterol levels — lessening the fatty build up in blood — vessels, and helping regulate blood sugar levels.
"I do not think the general public understands how probiotics might be beneficial to health at this stage," said Jing Sun, who worked on the study at the Griffith University School of Medicine and Griffith Health Institute in Queensland, Australia. Researchers say the study was not conclusive enough to begin proscribing specific doses of probiotics, but the findings definitely help advance our understanding of the good bacteria.
Researchers say yogurt and other dairy-based sources of probiotics are mild for those without an allergy, and easy enough to incorporate into one's diet without being dangerous.
"The challenge to us is to convince patients and clinicians to accept the product in daily life," Sun said.
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