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Thread: Probiotics Can Lower Blood Pressure and Protect Your Liver

  1. #1

    Probiotics Can Lower Blood Pressure and Protect Your Liver

    Probiotics Can Lower Blood Pressure and Protect Your Liver

    By Dr. Mercola

    Your intestinal bacteria are part of your immune system and researchers have discovered that microbes of all kinds play instrumental roles in countless areas of your health. Beneficial bacteria also control the growth of disease-causing bacteria by competing for nutrition and attachment sites in your colon.

    This is of immense importance, as pathogenic bacteria and other less beneficial microbes can wreak havoc with your health if they gain the upper hand. It can also affect your weight. Moreover, your gut microbiome — which contains 100 times as many genes as your body’s total genome — is involved in important chemical reactions that your gut enzymes cannot perform, including fermentation and sulfate reduction.

    Importantly, your gut microbiome helps generate new compounds (bacterial metabolites) that can have either a beneficial or detrimental impact on your health. Among the most recent research published are studies showing beneficial gut bacteria, also known as probiotics, benefit your liver function and help lower blood pressure.

    Probiotics Influence Liver Function
    While a lot of research has focused on the influence gut bacteria have on your gastrointestinal health, recent research presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego reveals probiotics also impact your liver function. This study focused primarily on a probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), which is found in many commercial probiotic supplements.

    Mice were first given food with added LGG for two weeks, and were then given a toxic dose of acetaminophen, known to cause serious liver damage by increasing oxidative stress. Interestingly, the animals pretreated with LGG had far less liver damage than untreated mice when given an acetaminophen overdose.

    According to lead author Bejan Saeedi, doctoral candidate at Emory University,1 "Administration of the probiotic LGG to mice improves the antioxidant response of the liver, protecting it from oxidative damage produced by drugs such as acetaminophen.” Earlier animal studies have also shown LGG helps protect against alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the latter of which is primarily driven by diets high in sugar and processed foods.

    Earlier research by the same team reveals the mechanism behind this finding. It appears LGG protects the liver against oxidative damage by activating Nrf2, a biological hormetic that upregulates superoxide dismutase, catalase and other intercellular antioxidants. Nrf2 not only lowers inflammation, but also improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis. Aside from consuming LGG-containing probiotics,

    Nrf2 can also be activated by:

    Consuming Nrf2-boosting food compounds such as sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables, foods high in phenolic antioxidants, the long-chained omega-3 fats DHA and EPA, carotenoids (especially lycopene), sulfur compounds from allium vegetables, isothiocyanates from the cabbage group and terpenoid-rich foods
    Performing high-intensity exercises that activate the nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway, such as the NO dump exercise
    Multiday water fasting and intermittent fasting
    Molecular hydrogen
    CBD oil

    Probiotics Help Normalize Blood Pressure
    Other recent findings suggest regularly consuming probiotics can help relieve hypertension (high blood pressure). One previous analysis2 of nine studies that scrutinized associations between probiotics and blood pressure found that people who consume probiotics on a regular basis (in the form of yogurt, kefir or supplements, for example) tended to have lower blood pressure than those who did not consume probiotics.

    On average, their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) was 3.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) lower and their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was 2.4 mm Hg lower. The most significant benefit appeared to be among those whose blood pressure was higher than 130/85, and probiotics that contained a variety of bacteria lowered blood pressure to a greater degree than those containing just one type of bacteria.

    Another animal study3 published last year found the probiotic lactobacillus marinus effectively prevents salt-sensitive hypertension by modulating TH17 cells. (Other research has found high salt intake inhibits lactobacillus marinus, thereby contributing to hypertension.) According to the authors:

    “In line with these findings, a moderate high-salt challenge in a pilot study in humans reduced intestinal survival of lactobacillus spp., increased TH17 cells and increased blood pressure. Our results connect high salt intake to the gut–immune axis and highlight the gut microbiome as a potential therapeutic target to counteract salt-sensitive conditions.”

    Blood Pressure Effects of Kefir Assessed
    Findings presented at the 2018 Experimental Biology conference found similar effects on blood pressure using kefir, specifically. Here, rats were divided into three groups. The first group, consisting of hypertensive rats, received kefir on a regular basis for nine weeks. The second group, which was also hypertensive, did not receive kefir. The third control group had normal blood pressure and were given regular chow.

    After nine weeks, blood and stool samples were analyzed to evaluate changes to the animals’ microbiome. Blood pressure was also measured, and neural changes in the hypothalamus, which plays a role in the regulation of blood pressure, were analyzed. Compared to groups two and three, the treatment group that received kefir had:

    Lower blood pressure
    Improved balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut
    Improved intestinal structure with decreased intestinal permeability
    Lower levels of endotoxins (byproducts of bacterial disintegration that contribute to inflammation)
    Lower levels of inflammation in the central nervous system
    According to the authors, “Our data suggests that kefir antihypertensive-associated mechanisms involve gut microbiota-brain axis communication during hypertension.” In other words, signals sent from the gut to the brain influence blood pressure, and by improving the gut microbiome, blood pressure was normalized naturally.

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    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

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  3. #2
    Blood pressure drugs EXPOSED for increasing the risk of pancreatic cancer in women

    Arguably, some blood pressure medications may be necessary and offer a benefit for those suffering with cardiovascular issues. But, of equal importance is, research out of the Baylor College of Medicine that has determined some of these drugs – like calcium channel blockers (CCBs) – can raise the risk of pancreatic cancer in menopausal women.

    CCBs work by preventing calcium from entering blood vessel walls and heart cells, reducing blood pressure and decreasing cardiac workload and stress.

    The study examined a large group of over 145,000 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative study between ages 50 and 79 years old. By 2014, over 800 had developed pancreatic cancer, with elevated risk among those taking a short-acting CCB.

    WARNING: Blood pressure drugs can double the risk of pancreatic cancer
    Of the participants, those who had taken a CCB (short-acting calcium channel blocker) had a 66 percent increased chance of getting pancreatic cancer. Those who took short-acting CCBs (as compared with other blood pressure drug types) for over three years had a doubled risk of pancreatic cancer.

    The drugs in question include short-acting nifedipine, brand names Adalat CC nicardipine (Cardene IV), Procardia and diltiazem (Cardizem). The short-acting varieties of blood pressure drugs were the only ones linked to higher pancreatic cancer risk; other types did not seem to increase the risk.

    The ‘good news’ is that pancreatic cancer is quite rare – only 1.6 percent of Americans will get it in their lifetimes. Even with a doubled risk, the disease only affects 3.2 percent of U.S. residents. Even when taking a CCB blood pressure medication, the risk of getting pancreatic cancer is still relatively low.

    Always best to lower blood pressure naturally when possible and avoid taking CCBs
    That said, the researchers were still surprised by the result – especially when you consider that past studies indicated that CCBs could have a ‘protective effect’ against pancreatic cancer. Why?

    Because CCBs can boost levels of a (sRAGE) protein – which is known to help regulate inflammation, a precursor to many diseases including cancer. But, as we all know, there are so many other (non-toxic) ways to reduce the risk of inflammation and hypertension.

    To add insult to injury, short-acting CCB blood pressure drugs are considered the least effective of all of them. In addition, taking this form of hypertensive medication actually increases the risk of diabetes – which further increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.

    Back in 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised against prescribing short-acting nifedipine, warning about increased risk for stroke and heart attack, while taking the drug.

    Blood samples taken from the pancreatic cancer patients showed that over half who had ever taken a short-acting CCB had lower levels of the sRAGE protein as compared with those who took other blood pressure drug types. This means there was less inflammation control and a likely higher cancer risk.

    Of course, it’s also plausible that women prescribed short-acting CCBs might have a different internal makeup than those prescribed other blood pressure medication types.

    Lower blood pressure naturally with an anti-inflammatory diet and high-quality nutritional supplements
    Sadly, pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States surpassing breast cancer. Plus, it should be noted that this deadly form of cancer usually strikes older adults with chronic medical conditions like hypertension. But, at any age, we should be fully informed about drug side effects before making such an important decision about treatment options.

    Bottom line: whenever possible, look for ways to lower blood pressure naturally. Eat an organic (locally grown) fresh foods diet – loaded with lots of vegetables and fruit. Make sure to avoid processed sugars and toxic (conventionally-raised) animal fats and opt for pasture-raised meats and eggs – in small amounts – if you should choose.

    In terms of supplementation, magnesium, CoQ10 and vitamin C can certainly be helpful. And, let’s not forget the health benefits of beet juice, organic blueberries and other foods rich in flavonoids.

    Naturally, if you’re dealing with cardiovascular problem, work with a qualified (integrative) physician that appreciates the power of nutrition to help heal the body.

    Sources for this article include:
    My website:

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  4. #3
    Second article notes:

    The ‘good news’ is that pancreatic cancer is quite rare – only 1.6 percent of Americans will get it in their lifetimes. Even with a doubled risk, the disease only affects 3.2 percent of U.S. residents. Even when taking a CCB blood pressure medication, the risk of getting pancreatic cancer is still relatively low.

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