Probiotic yoghurt may lower blood pressure

shutterstock_160940861Eating probiotics regularly could help lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, researchers have claimed.

The live micro-organisms naturally occur in the gut but are also commonly found in yoghurt and dietary supplements, the researchers told the Daily Mail.

Researchers at the Griffith Health Institute and School of Medicine in Australia examined data from nine trials involving more than 540 participants.

Probiotics with multiple species of bacteria also worked better than those containing a single type of bacterium.

Lead author Dr Jing Sun told the Daily Mail: “The small collection of studies we looked at suggest regular consumption of probiotics can be part of a healthy lifestyle to help reduce high blood pressure, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure levels.”

“This includes probiotics in yoghurt, fermented and sour milk and cheese, and probiotic supplements.” Sun added.

The study also found that taking the supplements for less than eight weeks did not affect blood pressure.

“We believe probiotics might help lower blood pressure by having other positive effects on health, including improving cholesterol, reducing blood glucose and insulin resistance; and by helping to regulate the hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance,” Sun said.

Sun added that additional studies are needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for high blood pressure control and prevention.