Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, affects about 85 million people in the US. It can lead to a heart attack or stroke, arrhythmias, kidney damage or failure, and so many more serious health issues. The most common causes of Hypertension are smoking, obesity, heavy drinking, and stress. A new study has found that there may be another symptom or factor of hypertension.
Recently scientist has been studying more on the microbiome (microorganisms in a particular environment), specifically bacteria located in the gut. Currently, the studies have been strictly observational, but the results have shown some correlation between hypertension and gut dysbiosis (bacterial colonies imbalanced).
A study conducted on 196 people; 41 of them with ideal blood pressure, 99 with hypertension, and 56 with prehypertension (refers to people who have high blood pressure but not high enough to be diagnosed as high blood pressure) found that those with hypertension and prehypertension had a reduction in the diversity of gut bacteria.
A similar study, conducted in 2016, analyzed pregnant women who were obese and overweight, and at a higher risk of hypertension. The women were all at 16 weeks in their pregnancy, and the findings determent that there were significantly lower levels of Odoribactor, a type of bacteria. The women who had the highest blood pressure showed the lowest levels of the bacteria.
How gut bacteria and hypertension are related is still being studied. At this time it is unsure if hypertension is causing the decreased diversity of gut bacteria, or if gut bacteria is the cause of hypertension. It is a very complex field that will take time to research and come to a final result. Food ingested, medicine taken, and other health conditions do influence gut bacteria and can impact the results. Only continued research and analysis will find the answers.