A new study has identified two new strains that add to the list of possible antihypertensive probiotics, according to researchers published in the journal ‘mSystems’.
An estimated 40% of the world’s adult population suffers from hypertension, putting them at risk of cardiovascular disease and other dangerous health problems. Recent studies suggest that probiotics may offer a protective effect, but researchers have limited understanding of why the makeup of the gut microbiota may regulate blood pressure.
In experiments with hypertensive mice, treatment with the two probiotics, ‘Bifidobacterium lactis’ and ‘Lactobacillus rhamnosus’, returned blood pressure to normal levels. The researchers also studied how these probiotics altered the animals’ gut microbial mix over 16 weeks, identifying specific microbes and metabolic pathways that could help explain the protective effect.
“Accumulating evidence supports the antihypertensive effect of probiotics and probiotic fermented foods in both in vitro and in vivo experiments,” said computational biology PhD Jun Li of the City University of Hong Kong, who collaborated on the study. with that of microbiologist Zhihong Sun, from Inner Mongolia Agricultural University (China). That’s why we believed that dietary intake of probiotic foods would complement traditional hypertension treatment well.”
Previous studies have linked rising rates of hypertension around the world to increased sugar consumption. It likely increases blood pressure through many mechanisms — increased insulin resistance or salt retention, for example — but in recent years researchers have also studied the effect of sugar on the gut microbiome.
In the new study, researchers tested the two probiotic strains in mice that developed high blood pressure after consuming water laced with fructose. For 16 weeks, they measured the animals’ blood pressure every 4 weeks.
They found that fructose-fed mice that received any of the probiotics showed significantly lower blood pressures than those fed a high-fructose diet and not treated with probiotics.
Additionally, they found no differences between the blood pressure readings of fructose-fed mice that received probiotics and a control group of mice that only drank water. This suggests that probiotic interventions would keep blood pressure at normal levels, Li notes.
The researchers used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to probe connections between altered gut microbiota and change in blood pressure. They discovered that a high-fructose diet in mice caused an increase in Bacteroidetes bacteria and a decrease in Firmicutes; However, treatment with probiotics returned these populations to those found in the control group.
In addition, the analysis identified new microbial signatures associated with blood pressure: increased levels of Lawsonia and Pyrolobus bacteria, and reduced levels of Alistipes and Alloprevotella, were associated with lower blood pressure. more low.
Researchers are now planning a large clinical trial to see whether the protective effect of probiotics extends to people with hypertension. “Probiotics present a promising avenue in preventive medicine,” says Sun, “offering potential to regulate hypertension and reshape our approach to cardiovascular health.”