Gut Bacteria and Probiotics Can Help You Live a Longer, Healthier Life probiotic cvs

Did you know that not just what you eat affects you, but also what your gut’s natural microbes digest after you consume? That is correct. Researchers are continuing to learn more about how gut bacteria affects overall health, and in fascinating ways. These bacteria are thought to affect not only metabolism, immunological responses, and even mood, but also heart function. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

What Could Lower Blood Pressure in Mice Indicate?

Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is at the forefront of animal research into gut microorganisms. Pluznick has been looking at the possibility that bacteria in the gut can release compounds as part of their normal metabolism after being exposed to food. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

It’s assumed that when those chemicals are taken into the bloodstream, they activate receptors in the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. These blood pressure alterations were considerable in mouse trials, especially when considering the potential impact across a lifetime. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

However, while gut bacteria and blood pressure appear to be linked, researchers are still unsure of their exact association. It’s tricky, to put it that way. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

“We know that gut bacteria and their hosts, which are us, have a symbiotic relationship. Blood pressure can be affected by substances produced by gut flora. We also know that mice, rats, and individuals with high blood pressure have distinct bacteria in their stomachs. Each of these items reveals a piece of the puzzle. But we don’t have enough parts to complete the puzzle yet,” Pluznick explains. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

Probiotics and prebiotics: Can They Help Lower Blood Pressure?

Previous research have connected eating foods containing probiotics (consumable living microorganisms) to lower blood pressure.

“The clearest example of a probiotic is yogurt,” explains Pluznick. “It’s possible that people aren’t aware of prebiotics.” Prebiotics are foods that contain the precursors needed by bacteria to produce the unique compounds that are later absorbed by our bodies, potentially decreasing blood pressure. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

“Fiber may be a prebiotic for a lot of bacteria,” Pluznick explains, “so when you eat fiber, the bacteria break it down to generate those compounds.” Prebiotics can be found in fiber-rich foods such garlic, onions, asparagus, whole wheat pasta, and sweet potatoes. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

Heart Health in the Future

Pluznick envisions a future in which heart-healthy metrics would incorporate gut-health concerns, as well as optimal guidelines for both the administration of antibiotics, which can harm gut bacteria, and the absorption of probiotics. But we’re not quite there yet. probioticseverything.comprobiotic cvs

“We’re a long way from being able to tell you which yogurt to eat to help lower your blood pressure, but I think that’s the long-term goal—gather all of the puzzle pieces and put them together,” Pluznick adds.

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