Here’s How Gut Bacteria Can Curb Harmful Effects of High BP
Gut microbes can produce propionate from dietary fibre, which can protect against high blood pressure.
To a large extent our well-being depends on what bacterial guests in our digestive tract consume, as researchers have found that beneficial gut microbes can produce a fatty acid called propionate from dietary fibre, which can protect against the harmful consequences of high blood pressure.
The substance calms the immune cells that drive up blood pressure, according to the study published online in the journal Circulation.
According to lead researcher Dominik Muller, Professor at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmoltz Association in Berlin, Germany,
Propionate works against a range of impairments in cardiovascular function caused by high blood pressure. This may be a promising treatment option, particularly for patients who have too little of this fatty acid.
The results explain why a diet rich in fibre, which has been recommended by nutrition organisations for many years, helps prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Whole-grain products and fruits, for example, contain cellulose and inulin fibers, from which gut bacteria produce the beneficial molecules like propionate.
For the study, the researchers fed propionate to mice with elevated blood pressure. Afterwards, the animals had less pronounced damage to the heart or abnormal enlargement of the organ, making them less susceptible to cardiac arrhythmia.
Vascular damage, such as atherosclerosis, also decreased in mice, the study said.
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