Probiotics are microorganisms that are thought to help balance digestive bacteria and keep our gut healthy, and recently more and more people are embracing the benefits of probiotics.
According to a NY Times article, probiotic consumption may reduce blood pressure.
Researchers reviewed nine randomized probiotic studies with a total of 543 participants. All studies included adults older than 18 who used probiotic products with live bacteria. The studies tested various probiotics in varying amounts, mostly strains of Lactobacillus consumed in dairy products.
Eight of the nine studies found reductions in blood pressure.
The consumption of probiotics reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury, and diastolic pressure by 2.38, compared to the control groups.
These aren’t high reductions, by any means, and indicate probiotics alone shouldn’t be used to reduce blood pressure. But, it is suggested there is a potential for greater effect when blood pressure is elevated to begin with or when probiotics are consumed daily for more than two months.
Another series of studies indicates probiotics may help people lose weight. Studies discussed in a recent article from Daily Mail indicate natural gut microorganisms play a role in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Food with Probiotics
- Soft cheese like gouda and brie
- Sour pickles
- Cultured cottage cheese
- Sourdough bread
- Miso soup
- Fermented soy