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Probiotics may help lower blood pressure, study says

The live bacterial cultures in yogurt, known as

The live bacterial cultures in yogurt, known as probiotics, have been shown to be an effective and safe aid to the digestive system — and may also help lower blood pressure. Credit: iStock

The live bacterial cultures in yogurt, known as probiotics, have been shown to be an effective and safe aid to the digestive system. But the health benefits may extend further. A study published in the American Heart Association's journal, Hypertension, concluded that probiotics also may help lower blood pressure.

Researchers said the reduction in blood pressure was "modest," but it was most pronounced in people with high blood pressure. They also cautioned that more research was necessary to definitively prove the link between probiotics and a reduction in blood pressure.

Besides yogurt, probiotics are naturally found in many fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and the Korean staple kimchee. Some dairy products and juices are fortified with probiotics. Probiotic supplements in pills, capsules or liquids also are widely available, but the Heart Association said check with your doctor first because they could have adverse effects for some people.

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