Your gut health may be linked to high blood pressure and depression

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In a new study, researchers found gut bacteria differences between people with high blood pressure and those with high blood pressure plus depression.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Florida.

People are ‘meta-organisms’ made up of roughly equal numbers of human cells and bacteria.

Gut bacteria ecology interacts with our bodily physiology and brains, which may steer some people towards developing high blood pressure and depression.

In the study, the team isolated DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the carrier of genetic information) from gut bacteria obtained from the stool samples of 105 volunteers.

They used a new technique involving artificial-intelligence software to analyze the bacteria, which revealed four distinct types of bacterial genes and signature molecules.

Surprisingly, the investigators discovered unique patterns of bacteria from people with 1) high blood pressure plus depression; 2) high blood pressure without depression; 3) depression with healthy blood pressure; or 4) healthy subjects without depression or high blood pressure.

The results suggest different medical mechanisms of high blood pressure that link to signature molecules produced by gut bacteria.

These molecules are thought to impact the cardiovascular system, metabolism, hormones, and nervous system.

The researchers believe they have uncovered new forms of high blood pressure: ‘Depressive Hypertension’ (high blood pressure with depression).

It may be a completely different disease than ‘Non-Depressive Hypertension’ (high blood pressure without depression).

One author of the study is Bruce R. Stevens, Ph.D.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions.

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