Prebiotics Reduce/Prevent High Blood Pressure, Says New Research

New reseach indicates that plant-based prebiotics (most notably oligofructose-inulin) can reduce or prevent hypertension (High Blood Pressure).
Feb. 10, 2010 - PRLog -- New university research has found the Plant-based Prebiotics can reduce or prevent high blood pressure.

Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although various drugs for its treatment have been synthesized, their side effects have generated a desire for natural solutions for the treatment and prevention of hypertension.

Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that bypass digestion and reach the lower gut to serve as nutrients for indigenous microflora. Prebiotics fall into two primary categories: fructooligosaccharides, derived from plants, and galactooligosaccharides, derived from milk. Experimental evidence from recent studies has suggested that plant-based prebiotics are capable of reducing and preventing hypertension.

The research makes a few key points:

1) The reduction of high blood pressure is observed only in plant-based prebiotics. The research findings did not apply to Milk-based prebiotics, such as galactooligosaccharide.

2) Drugs with similar effect on hypertension have side effects including insomnia, angioedema, fetal abnormalities, etc. The research summary states: "prebiotics are seen as better alternatives than drug therapy to treat hypertension considering that prebiotics has a long history of safe use and has been a natural component present in our foods."

3) The blood-pressure-reducing impact of prebiotics seems to be a synergistic effect. Prebiotics don't directly reduce blood pressure. Instead, they have a multitude of small health-building impacts that result in lowered blood pressure. The research suggests that the human body is a complex system, and "fixing" one component (i.e. what drugs typically do) is much less effective than getting "the whole works" in balance and working property (i.e. what natural solutions usually do).

"This is a very exciting finding," says noted Gastroenterologist and prebiotics advocate Frank W. Jackson, MD. "We are learning more every day about our colon's vital role in overall health, and seeing the synergistic impact of prebiotics result in an outcome such as reduced hypertension simply confirms the vital role prebiotics and the gut microbiota play in our health."

Here are some known effects of prebiotic fiber which the research says are the likely causative factors in prebiotics' anti-hypertensive properties:

1. Prebiotics nourish healthy bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids which reduce lipids (cholesterol), which are often a key component in hypertension.

2. Prebiotics slow "gastric emptying" (i.e. food moves through your gut slower) and increase satiety hormones. That means one feels more satisfied, eats less, and cuts cholesterol intake - again reducing a key BP risk factor.

3. Prebiotics, by reducing appetite, tend to promote weight loss. Blood pressure tends to increase/decrease right along with weight.

4. By boosting production of short-chain fatty acids, prebiotics tend to prevent diabetes and reduce insulin resistance, both key contributing factors to high blood pressure.

5. Prebiotics improve absorption of Calcium. Research has linked good levels of calcium with reduced blood pressure.

More information on this topic, and on prebiotics in general, is available at Prebiotin prebotic fiber supplement is a 100% pure, natural, plant-based prebiotic.

The full research article text is available at

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