Two Common Probiotics May Improve Your Blood Pressure - Wakunaga of America


Two Common Probiotics May Improve Your Blood Pressure

Thanks to some new findings, researchers now believe that your gut microbiome, and two specific probiotics in particular, can play an important role in regulating blood pressure.

According to the World Health Organization, high blood pressure, or hypertension, affects around 1.28 billion people globally—and nearly half of them don’t even know they have the condition.1 This is because high blood pressure typically doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms. For those who have been diagnosed with hypertension, medication and lifestyle changes can help to keep blood pressure in check. But new research suggests that two common probiotic strains can also lower BP.

Blood Pressure Recap

Hypertension occurs when the pressure of blood pushing against your artery walls is too high. According to the American Heart Association, hypertension is diagnosed when your blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mmHg or higher. Elevated (or pre-) hypertension is defined as 120 or higher.2 What do those numbers mean? The first number (systolic) signifies the pressure inside blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number (diastolic) indicates the pressure in your blood vessels between beats.

Since hypertension can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss, it’s important to know your numbers and your risk. Factors that can increase your risk include family history, poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, or tobacco and alcohol consumption.3 But, thanks to new findings, researchers now believe that your gut microbiome also plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.

How Your Microbiome Affects Blood Pressure

Over the past few years, a flurry of studies and study reviews have discovered that the balance of bacteria in your gut can have a significant impact on your blood pressure. While that might sound a little far-fetched to the average person, the researchers involved in these studies have the proof. They point to four ways in which supplementing with two specific probiotics—Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium—can effectively improve your microbiome and lower your blood pressure by:

  1. Regulating oxidative stress inside your arteries. Healthy arteries expand and contract as blood flows through them. However, oxidative stress—a situation where there are more harmful free radicals and not enough beneficial antioxidants—damages the inside of your arteries by reducing their ability to contract. This can lead to hypertension. But studies show that certain probiotics can keep these potentially damaging free radicals in check thanks to their powerful antioxidant properties.4 And that, in turn, reduces oxidative stress.
  2. Producing short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are a group of fatty acids that are produced when the beneficial bacteria in your gut ferment dietary fiber. Taking a probiotic can support the production of SCFA. And that matters because SCFA’s act as signaling molecules (molecules that transmit information between your cells) to help regulate blood pressure. 4,5 
  3. Improving the function of your arterial cells. When the cells that line your arteries (your endothelial cells) malfunction, they can secrete substances that affect the function of your blood vessels. High blood pressure influences these substances in a way that damages your endothelial cells and makes hypertension worse. 4 But a clinical trial that appeared in the journal Circulation Research found that supplementing with probiotics improved vascular endothelial dysfunction and reduced inflammation in a group of men with coronary artery disease.6
  4. Reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation inside your arteries doesn’t just play a role in atherosclerosis. It also contributes to high blood pressure by damaging your endothelial cells.7 Luckily, probiotics have anti-inflammatory properties that protect your arteries from the harmful effects of this vascular inflammation. One study review found that simply supplementing with probiotics improved both vascular inflammation and hypertension.8

Can Probiotics Help to Lower Your Blood Pressure?

While the science is still evolving, studies so far look incredibly promising. For instance, a recent review of 14 studies involving 15,494 participants found that supplementing with probiotics resulted in a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This was especially true for those individuals over the age of 50.9

In another study review, this time analyzing 23 randomized controlled trials involving 2,037 individuals, a group of Chinese researchers found that those who took probiotics experienced an average 3.05 mmHg drop in their systolic blood pressure and a 1.51 mmHg reduction in their diastolic blood pressure. This led the researchers to conclude that probiotics could be a potential dietary treatment for hypertension.10

Of course, when it comes to high blood pressure, probiotics aren’t a magic bullet. Instead, they may be a beneficial add-on to an overall treatment plan that includes an antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes.


  1. World Health Organization.
  2. Understanding blood pressure readings. American Heart Association. 2023.
  3. Wang W, Lee ET, Fabsitz RR, et al. A longitudinal study of hypertension risk factors and their relation to cardiovascular disease: the Strong Heart Study. 2006;47(3):403-9.
  4. Chen Z, Liang W, Liang J, et al. Probiotics: functional food ingredients with the potential to reduce hypertension. Frontiers in Cellular and Infectious Microbiology. 2023;13:1220877.
  5. Markowiak-Kopeć P, Śliżewska K. The effect of probiotics on the production of short-chain fatty acids by human intestinal microbiome. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):1107.
  6. Malik M, Suboc TM, Tyagi S, et al. Lactobacillus plantarum 299v supplementation improves vascular endothelial function and reduces inflammatory biomarkers in men with stable coronary artery disease. Circulation Research. 2018;123(9):1091-1102.
  7. Guzik TJ, Touyz RM. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular aging in hypertension. 2017;70(4):660-7.
  8. Grylls A, Seidler K, Neil J. Link between microbiota and hypertension: Focus on LPS/TLR4 pathway in endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation, and therapeutic implication of probiotics. Biomedicine & Pharmacotheraphy. 2021;137:111334.
  9. Zarezadeh M, Musazadeh V, Ghalichi F, et al. Effects of probiotics supplementation on blood pressure: An umbrella meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease. 2023;33(2):275-86.
  10. Qi D, Nie XL, Zhang JJ. The effect of probiotics supplementation on blood pressure: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2020;19(1):79.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.