Smart Woman: Probiotics May Help Blood Pressure

Published 07/21 2014 03:37PM

Updated 07/21 2014 06:41PM

Do you eat yogurt as your snack? What if your snack could help keep your blood pressure in check?

New research examined 9 previous studies of more than 500 patients that suggested eating probiotics may lower blood pressure.

And yogurt contains probiotics, which are a natural bacteria that's believed to help with digestion.  There are also probiotic supplements which are widely available. Probiotics with multiple bacteria are better than those with single bacteria.

Researchers found eating probiotics lowered patients' blood pressure 3 points on the top and 2 points on the bottom.

Dr. Harmony Reynolds a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center says, "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."

So even the small points of 3 on the top and 2 on the bottom are good signs.

Patients had to consume probiotics, regularly, for at least 8 weeks, to see a modest drop in blood pressure. Researchers say there need to be more studies before doctors can recommend probiotics for high pressure and prevention.

Is probiotic supplement versus probiotic food better for you?

According to Dr. Reynold's, it's not clear that a supplement is as beneficial as getting probiotics from your food. She says, "Sometimes if people change their diet, exercise more, and probiotic is part of that healthy eating plan, they can avoid medicine, and I love to see that."

So instead of snacking on ice cream, you may want to have a nice, cold yogurt. It could be both satisfying and an enjoyable step for your health heart.

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