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It’s the latest piece of “good news” for probiotics: A systematic review of studies, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, has demonstrated strong evidence that probiotics may reduce blood pressure. 
Probiotics are typically taken for stomach and intestinal support, and are often reported especially beneficial by people who had previously taken antibiotics – with the result of messing up the delicate balance of their intestinal flora.
This is the latest positive for probiotics, which have also been connected to improved psychological health. 
The new report on blood pressure analyzed nine previous human studies involving a total of over 540 participants. At the end of the eight weeks (or more) of trials, reductions were found in both systolic (the upper number) and diastolic (the lower number) blood pressure, averaging 3 and 2 mmHG respectively, with higher reductions being found in people who had higher readings in the first place (these are the people who most need the benefits!)
It was interesting to note also that the effects were only found after two months, indicating that a continued regimen was required – of either probiotics or probiotic-containing food such as yogurt, kefir, cheese, sauerkraut and kimchi.
The reasons for the benefits are thought to include improvements to cholesterol, blood glucose, insulin resistance and the hormones that regulate blood pressure and fluid balance.
Even though these reductions in BP are not huge, they are actually very significant to health, with similar drops in blood pressure being associated with a 22% reduction in the risk of dying of heart attack, heart disease or stroke.
It’s important to consult your doctor before commencing a new supplement regimen and probiotics may be contraindicated in people with intestinal damage / ulcers or other conditions where the probiotics might “escape” to parts of the body where they are not meant to be.
 Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials (Hypertension, 2014) http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/64/4/897.long
 Psychobiotics: A Novel Class of Psychotropic (Biological Psychiatry, 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.001
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