Consumption of Kefir May Lower Blood Pressure

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Drinking kefir may lower blood pressure and improve communication between the gut and brain, according to a study conducted on April 25, 2018.

A fermented probiotic milk beverage that helps in maintaining the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system is called as kefir. The results of this study will be presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego.

Researches that were conducted earlier had shown that an imbalance in the gut’s colony of bacteria (microbiota) may lead to high blood pressure in some people. Similarly, probiotics, which are live bacteria supplements that are beneficial to the digestive system, have been found to lower blood pressure. However, researchers are unclear about the mechanism by which it occurs.

To determine how kefir reduces high blood pressure, three groups of rats were studied by a team of researchers from Auburn University in Alabama, in collaboration with the University of Vila Velha in Brazil. Three groups of rats were kept at different conditions to conduct the study. One group had hypertension and was treated with kefir, the second group had hypertension and was not treated with kefir, and the third group had normal blood pressure and was not treated with kefir as well.

After nine weeks of kefir supplementation, lower levels of endotoxins, lower blood pressure, and improved intestinal permeability were found in treated rats when compared to the untreated rats.  Healthy intestines allow some substances to pass through, however, generally acts as a barrier to keep out harmful bacteria and other potentially dangerous substances. Furthermore, the natural balance of four different bacteria in the gut and of an enzyme in the brain essential for normal nervous system function was restored with the consumption of kefir. This shows that the nervous and digestive systems work together to reduce hypertension.

Researchers said, “Our data suggests that kefir antihypertensive-associated mechanisms involve gut microbiota-brain axis communication during hypertension.”

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