Even with the pandemic, hypertension continues to be one of the leading global threats to good health. According to the WHO, a mindboggling 1.15 billion people suffer from hypertension, a third of whom are in the developed world. These figures have prompted scientists to try and find a lasting solution to this problem.
The gut and blood pressure
A new study by researchers from Bayer College of Medicine might just have taken hypertension research to the next level. According to the study, what you eat can affect your blood pressure levels. This is not the news; some types of food are already known to increase or decrease blood pressure. What’s surprising in this study is the involvement of the gut. Yes, the microbiota gut
Dr. David Durgan, a lead author of the study and professor at Baylor, explains in a university that previous studies showed that hypertensive animal models had a different gut formation from healthy ones. He adds that a disruption in the human gut can negatively affect blood pressure, according to the new study.
Dr. Durgan further says that when the dysbiotic gut microbiota was transplanted from a hypertensive model mouse to a healthy one, the healthy mouse resulted in high blood pressure too. He explains that this can be interpreted to mean that gut dysbiosis is not just a result of hypertension. It is one of the causes. With that said, the question remained how to manipulate this information to help control or relieve hypertension.
How fasting could help
To find out, the researchers grouped model rats into two groups—each of the groups comprised of both healthy and hypertensive rats. The researchers allowed an unlimited amount of food for one group and fed the other group only once a day for nine weeks.
After nine weeks, the researchers found that the hypertensive rats in the group allowed an unlimited supply of food had higher blood pressures than the healthy ones in the same group. The hypertensive rats on the second group, on the other hand, had much lower blood pressure than their peers who fed without being controlled.