Consuming beneficial bacteria through foods such as yogurt or taking probiotic supplements may reduce blood pressure, a new research has found.
Researchers found that people in randomised, controlled studies who regularly ate foods containing large amounts of live bacteria or who took probiotic supplements reduced their blood pressure during the studies more than the control groups.
People who took probiotics reduced their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) by an average of 3.56 millimetres of mercury, and their diastolic blood pressure (the second number) by an average of 2.38 millimetres of mercury, more than the study participants who were not consuming probiotics.
"The small collection of studies we looked at suggest regular consumption of probiotics can be part of a healthy lifestyle to help reduce high blood pressure," said study author Jing Sun, a senior lecturer in biostatistics at the Griffith University School of Medicine in Queensland, Australia.
"They can also help maintain healthy blood-pressure levels," Sun said.
Researchers evaluated data collected from nine previously published, high-quality studies that examined the effect of probiotics in a total of 543 adults who had normal or high blood pressure, 'Live Science' reported.
Most of the trials were small and involved people who got healthy bacteria from eating foods such as yogurt, fermented dairy drinks or cheese. One study involved people who took a probiotic supplement, given in a capsule form.
The analysis did not look at whether getting probiotics from food was better at reducing blood pressure than getting good bacteria from supplements.
The data showed that people needed to consume probiotics for at least eight weeks to see improvements in blood pressure.
The findings are published in the journal Hypertension.