Statistics show that about 19% of people in the United States have high blood pressure that can’t be effectively controlled using medications.
In many cases, high blood pressure is called “idiopathic,” meaning that the cause is unknown. It’s hard to treat something when the underlying reason hasn’t been determined.
The research community has been doing a lot of work regarding the human microbiome. We now know that bacteria in the gut have links to many different health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, autoimmune conditions, to name a few.
Is there a link with high blood pressure. I recently read a study that included about 40 people with normal blood pressure, 50 people with “pre-hypertension,” and 99 people who had progressed to full out hypertension. When they looked at the gut flora of the study participants, they found that people with normal blood pressure tended to have the highest diversity of gut bacteria.
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Subjects with pre- or full out hypertension had a smaller number of bacterial species in their gut. The study doesn’t establish cause and effect, but it’s a starting point for understanding the link between the gut and blood pressure regulation.
If you look at some South American countries and indigenous tribes with more diverse gut flora, they don’t usually have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a lot of the chronic diseases seen in Western countries.
In the future, they may have been able to identify the specific species of gut bacteria that help to keep the blood pressure normal. But in the meantime, you need to control your blood pressure. Stick to your medications but also consider improving your diet by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods will boost the health of your gut and your health in general.