In a new study, researchers found dietary fiber, particularly fiber that’s prebiotic, is able to prevent the development of high blood pressure.
The research was conducted by a team from Monash University in Australia.
One hundred million micro-organisms live within our gut, influencing our metabolism, our immune system and possibly even our mental health.
Prebiotic fiber resists digestion until it reaches the large intestine, where it feeds those bacteria that are considered to have health benefits.
Microbial fermentation in the gut releases metabolites, small molecules called short-chain fatty acids.
The research shows that when mice are fed these short-chain fatty acids directly, their blood pressure lowers and their heart health improves.
The team now is testing if a high-fiber diet can bring blood pressure into a healthy range.
They are giving people a diet that is high in fiber.
But the food also contains this fiber that is fully enriched with these metabolites.
The participants will also be given a placebo, “because that’s the gold standard design for clinical trials.
Twice a day for three weeks, all participants will be given food including muffins, frittatas and arancini balls, all developed by a research chef.
The meals have been tested to eliminate any difference in taste between those meals that are metabolite-enriched and those that are not.
Twelve men and women with untreated high blood pressure are already taking part in a three-week trial.
The team says If the new results are positive in the trial, people can try to reduce high blood pressure in more natural ways.
The leader of the study is Molecular biologist and geneticist Dr. Francine Marques.
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