Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

More ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria?

News Picture: Another Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?

A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificusoccurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, researchers said.

The infections resulted in one death and multiple rounds of surgery to save the other patients. One had all his limbs removed at the elbows and knees due to severe bacterial infection, said Dr. Katherine Doktor, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.

“In order to stop the infection, the person needs antibiotics and they need to be taken to the OR [operating room] quickly so any infected tissue can be removed, so it doesn’t spread further,” she said.

But Doktor added that the bacteria tends to strike hardest at people with pre-existing health problems like liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure or a compromised immune system.

“Just going to the beach or going to the bay is not going to make you sick,” she said. “These people usually have a cut and the infected water gets into the cut, or they eat raw seafood that’s infected.”

Vibrio bacteria cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year, with most infections in May through October when water temperatures are warm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in five people with this type of infection die, sometimes within days of becoming ill, the CDC warns.

Because the bacteria thrive in warmer, salty water, it’s usually found mostly in southern waters, Doktor said.

But cases of Vibrio infection began showing up in emergency rooms along the Delaware Bay a few years back, Doktor and her colleagues reported June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Four of the cases involved middle-aged or older men who had been crabbing in the bay or eating crabs taken from the bay, the doctors said. The fifth case involved a man who worked at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey.

Wound infections affecting a person’s limbs occur through breaks in the skin, while eating tainted seafood can cause intestinal and bloodstream infections, the researchers said. Large blood blisters start popping up at sites where skin cells are dying off, Doktor explained.

“On average, people need to be taken back to the OR two to four times to remove any tissue that has died,” she said.

It’s not just in the United States that Vibrio is migrating northward, Doktor said. In Europe, infections with the bacteria have extended as far north as Norway.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. He said, “Vibrio vulnificus infections contracted in the Delaware Bay, an area not known to be endemic for the bacteria, should serve as an important reminder that infectious diseases can expand from their traditional areas so long as the environment is hospitable to them.” Adalja was not involved with the new report.

“If certain bodies of water have had temperature changes that allow Vibrio vulnificus to flourish in a new region, it will be important that clinicians have heightened awareness of this serious, and sometimes fatal, infection in order to diagnose and treat it appropriately,” Adalja added.

Doktor advised that shellfish lovers should exercise caution when having a seafood meal, especially if they have a health condition that compromises their body’s ability to stave off infection.

“Some people, when they shuck the crabs, they use gloves,” she said. “I would protect your skin by wearing gloves.”

You might want to think twice about hitting the raw bar, too.

“As an infectious disease physician, I don’t think people should be eating raw seafood,” Doktor said. “But if you don’t have any of these risk factors, the chance of infection is much, much lower.”

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

A Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash

hospitalstay

 

Reality Check—Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash

 

Hospitals are typically thought of as places where lives are saved, but statistics show they’re actually one of the most dangerous places you could possibly frequent.1,2

 

Each day, more than 40,000 harmful and/or lethal medical errors occur, placing the patient in a worse situation than what they came in with.3

 

According to a 2013 study,4,5 preventable medical errors kill around 440,000 patients each year—that’s more than 10 times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes! Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections.

 

According to 2014 statistics6,7 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 patients end up with a hospital-acquired infection. In 2011 alone, 75,000 people died as a result.8

 

Medicare patients may be at even greater risk. According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study,9 1 in 9 Medicare patients developed a hospital-acquired infection.

 

Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Administrators Blamed

 

Over the years, hospitals have been warned they need to improve infectious control, but according to two new reports,10,11 the U.S. healthcare system has largely failed to make a dent in the problem.  On the whole, only 6 percent of U.S. hospitals receive top scores for preventing common drug-resistant infections.

 

As reported by NBC News:12

 

“…America’s hospitals are still teeming with infectious bacteria, including drug-resistant superbugs…One-third of hospitals rated by Consumer Reports got low scores on how well they prevent one of the worst infections, Clostridium difficile.

 

Many are flagship teaching hospitals, like those at Johns Hopkins University or Harvard Medical School, and… the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid the responsibility squarely on doctors, nurses and hospital administrators.

 

“Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs. Antibiotic resistance threatens to return us to a time when a simple infection could kill,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters…

 

“These infections are not mysterious,” he said. “They’re caused by unwashed hands, rooms that are not cleaned thoroughly, overuse and misuse of antibiotics, a lack of careful hygiene in inserting catheters and other tubes, and slow detection of outbreaks…

 

There are clear simple steps. The hard part is to do them each and every time.”

 

Patients Also Need to Wash Their Hands

 

According to a research letter13,14 published in JAMA Internal Medicine, patients also shoulder some of the blame. Again, the problem can be traced back to lack of proper hand washing.

 

In this paper, they tested patients who went from hospitals to post-acute care facilities such as rehab centers and other long-term care facilities. Nearly 1 in 4 had some sort of drug-resistant microbe on their hands when leaving the hospital.

 

About 10 percent of these patients ended up picking up yet another drug-resistant germ while in post-acute care. Of those who tested positive for drug-resistant bacteria, 67 percent still had them when they were discharged, even if they never became ill from it.

 

So this is another crucial recommendation. Washing your hands is generally recognized as an important infection control strategy but one of the MOST important times to wash your hands is when you are in the hospital, even if you are visiting someone and not a patient.

 

In this way, you’ll minimize the risk of spreading  microbes out among the general population. According to Leah Binder, president of the Leapfrog Group, an organization that grades hospitals on patient safety:

 

“We have to revise hand hygiene policies to include patients. One of the main strategies on hand hygiene is to make it easy to wash hands.

 

Most hospitals have either sinks or dispensers near the door of every room, so that it’s very easy for a provider walking in to immediately wash their hands. Do we make it easy for patients to wash their hands? I doubt it.”

 

Hand Washing Tips

 

Hand washing needs to be done correctly however, in order to be truly effective for disease control. Simply rinsing your hands with water, or giving a quick scrub with soap, is not enough to remove germs.

 

So, to make sure you’re actually removing the germs when you wash your hands, follow these guidelines:15

 

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water

Use plain soap. Antibacterial soap is completely unnecessary and could easily do more harm than good. As a matter of fact, the antibacterial compounds found in most of these soaps are another contributing factor to the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Research has also confirmed that antibacterial soap is no more effective than plain soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions

 

Clean all the nooks and crannies of your hands, including under fingernails

Rinse thoroughly under running water

Use a paper towel to open the door as a protection from germs that harbor on handles

 

How to Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

 

Besides washing your own hands, ask all personnel to wash theirs before touching you. While many are intimidated by medical personnel, and doctors in particular, just know that vocalizing requests such as these is well within your rights as a patient, and may very well save your (and other people’s) life.

 

Other proactive steps you can take to protect yourself against hospital-acquired superbugs and medical errors include:16,17,18

 

Bring bleach wipes with you. Wiping down surfaces around your hospital bed—including the bed rails, table, IV pole, vital signs monitor, computer monitor and keyboard, call button, and television remote control—can reduce the risk of Clostridium difficile infection by nearly 85 percent.

 

Also ask your doctor to wipe off his or her stethoscope before placing it on your body.

Ask to be tested for MRSA. If you are infected, you, your doctors and nurses will have a heads-up that greater diligence and care is required to prevent transmission.

Choose a hospital with a low infection rate.19,20 Avoid teaching hospitals in June, July and August.

 

Statistically, more errors occur during these months due to the influx of new residents (doctors in training), and senior “attending” doctors taking their vacations.

 

Lethal medication errors consistently spike by about 10 percent each July, due to the inexperience of new residents.21 Also be cautious of weekends.       Make sure you really need antibiotics if one is prescribed for you. If your doctor suspects an infection, a rapid culture can help identify the bacteria in question, which will allow your doctor to prescribe the most effective antibiotic.

 

Also request the lowest effective dose possible.

 

Bathe with chlorhexidine soap a day or two before going in for scheduled surgery.  Ask your doctor about probiotics, especially if you’re given an antibiotic. Probiotics may help reduce your risk of Clostridium difficile infection.

Before scheduling a colonoscopy, ask what solution is used to clean the scope. Make sure the hospital or clinic uses peracetic acid, to avoid potential transfer of infectious material from previous patients.

 

Cidex (glutaraldehyde), which 80 percent of hospitals and clinics use, does NOT properly sterilize these tools.    Proton-pump inhibitors prescribed for heartburn or stomach pain can increase your risk for Clostridium difficile infection, so if your doctor wants to give you one, ask why, and make sure there’s a solid reason for taking it.

 

If you’re concerned you may be given unnecessary drugs or surgery, ask for a Patient Advocate, or request a different doctor.

 

Request IV’s, tubes, and catheters to be removed as early as possible, as the longer they stay in, the greater your risk of infection.   Make sure an electric shaver is used, not a razor, to prep skin areas for surgery. Razors can easily nick the skin, even if microscopically, allowing bacteria to enter and fester.

 

 

What Hospitals Won’t Tell You—Vital Strategies that Could Save Your Life

 

I previously interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul on the issue of hospital medical errors and patient safety. As the co-author of “Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stay,”22 he has a lot of wisdom to share with regards to keeping yourself safe from medical harm. It is possible to make hospital stays safer and more healing, and his book addresses this at depth.

 

Here are a few summarized nuggets from this interview the most important point being the first one. I also recommend buying the book for more comprehensive information.

 

Bring a friend or family member who can help look out for your best interest. This is really critical. Ideally, you want someone with you 24 hours a day, who can double-check what medications you’re being given and why, make sure nurses and doctors are washing their hands and ask questions about any procedures being done.

 

It’s human nature to be more attentive to detail when you know you’ll be questioned, so having an advocate who can keep hospital staff accountable can go a long way toward minimizing errors.

 

Understand and remember that as the patient, you are the most powerful person in the hospital. However, the hospital system works on the assumption that the patient will not claim that power. Doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators are offering you products and services, and they’re trying to get you to accept them without question, but you do have the right to say no to any treatment you do not want.

 

You also have the right to revoke permission you may previously have given. If you are incapacitated, your spouse, followed by your children, has the most influence.

Optimize your nutrition. Hospital meals are almost universally associated with ultra-processed food that will not do your health any favors. You can sometimes get better food simply by asking for a vegetarian meal. It can also be helpful to bring a note from your primary care physician if you take vitamins and want to continue taking them while in the hospital. Also know your patient rights, should the staff insist you can’t take them while staying there.

 

Being Proactive and Assertive Can Make Your Hospital Stay Safer

 

From my perspective, checking yourself into a hospital should be an option of last resort, when you have exhausted all others (barring an actual life-threatening emergency). Not only do you risk developing a potentially life-threatening infection, but they also all-too-frequently give you the wrong solution for your problem. Surgery, for example, is a widely overused option that can cause far more problems than it solves.

 

However, should a hospital stay be necessary, you would do well to heed the advice of Dr. Saul, and bring a personal advocate with you—a relative or friend who can speak up for you and ensure you’re given proper care if you’re too incapacitated (or timid) to do so yourself.

 

If you’re serious about minimizing your hospital visits, start by taking control of your health and building a strong immune system. This will minimize your risk of becoming hospital-bound due to severe illness, as well as minimize your risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. Keeping your immune system healthy begins with common sense strategies such as eating real food, managing your stress, and getting plenty of daily movement and regular exercise.

 

Since we’ve been talking about antibiotic-resistant infections, remember that the vast majority of meats sold come from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where antibiotics are routinely administered not only to combat disease but also to promote rapid growth. This is a major reason for opting for 100% organic and grass-fed meats and animal products, as organic standards to not permit the routine non-medical use of antibiotics.

 

As always, please share with family and loved ones.  If you have any questions or concerns about a upcoming visit to the hospital, nursing home, or rehab center, please feel free to contact us.

 

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Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

One Type of Raw Honey Kills All Bacteria

manukahoney

 

The health benefits of raw, unprocessed honey are well known, but in Australia, scientists recently made a startling discovery – that one particular, obscure type of honey is capable of killing just about everything scientists throw at it, including some of the worst bacteria known to man.

 

The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (June 2009 edition), and could hold special significance at a time when many of the world’s top antibiotics are failing, especially against resistant “superbugs.”

 

The honey in question is known as manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand and also goes by the name of jelly bush honey.

 

The honey has become so popular in the past few years that shortages have been reported and fake products have been sold, leading New Zealand manuka producers to seek trademark protection (similar to French champagne or Scottish whiskey for example). It’s easy to see why now that the secret is out about this honey’s incredible health benefits.

 

Manuka Honey Kills MRSA, Other Superbugs

 

Manuka honey is created by bees foraging on the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium, the New Zealand manuka bush, as well as tea trees native only to Australia and New Zealand.

 

In the aforementioned studies, Australian researchers found that the honey killed every bacteria or pathogen it was tested on, according to a report by The Australian. The honey can be applied topically to help fight against infections of the skin, cuts and insect bites, or taken internally.

 

Manuka Honey

 

The most exciting difference with the manuka honey that was tested is that none of superbugs killed by the honey were able to build up immunity, a common problem with today’s antibiotics.

 

“New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant,” said Dr. Dee Carter of the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences. “Many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives.”

 

According to Dr. Carter the manuka honey contains a compound called methyglyoxal, that combines with other unknown compounds to cause “multi-system failure” that destroys the bacteria.

 

Where to Find Manuka Honey

 

Manuka honey is now sold in health food stores and online, although the supply levels have fluctuated in recent years and fake honey scams have been documented. When looking for manuka honey it is best to look for one that is UMF certified.

 

The term UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, which is the phytochemical property derived from the manuka bushes that gives it its unique properties. This term is regulated by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association of New Zealand and a handful of certified manuka products can be found on Amazon.com.

 

The brand Comvita manuka honey is available on Amazon and is UMF certified. One particular customer on Amazon said that it this type of honey helped to erase their MRSA:

 

I had done a fair amount of research when a friend of ours got MRSA, and then, unfortunately, I got it too., said user JoshuaOne9 on Amazon. Thankfully, I had already done the research so I knew exactly what to do. As soon as I saw the red bump (thinking the first day that it was a mosquito bite) I scratched it, but the second day I realized that it had to be something else. My husband immediately knew what it was since we had been dealing with our friend’s case of MRSA. I got my hands on this Manuka honey and put on the area of skin that was affected and then it is very important that you cover it with a bandaid. Within hours I felt relief and within a few days it was completely gone…

 

While further research needs to be done, it’s safe to say that manuka honey shows plenty of promise in defeating one of the biggest health challenges faced by humanity in the 21st century, and this research should not be taken lightly.

 

Please share with family and loved ones; and if you are not sure this would be good for you, ( as in never give honey to anyone under 4 years of age) or work against your other medications, please give us a call.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

If You Do Not Put the Right Gas in the Tank, The Car Will Not Run Right

gutbacteriagood

Not All Gut Bacteria Are Created Equal, or
If You Dont Have the Right Gas in the Car, it wont run right.
Gut bacteria, which number more than 100 trillion cells, have more of an impact on our health than medical experts previously realized. But not all gut bacteria are created equal. Among other things, “good” gut bacteria improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and manufacture the vitamins your body needs. On the other hand, “bad” gut bacteria can cause digestion nightmares, mental problems, skin conditions, and all kinds of other problems you’ll learn about in just a second.
A healthy gut isn’t made by trying to rid your body of gut bacteria altogether. It’s made by balancing the bacteria—limiting the bad guys and encouraging the good guys to grow. So let’s start at the beginning: how to figure out if your gut bacteria is unbalanced.
Are Your Gut Bacteria Imbalanced? 7 Things to Look for
How can you know if your gut bacteria are out of whack? It isn’t quite as easy as finding out if you have a fever. You can’t just take your gut bacteria’s temperature with a thermometer you bought over the counter. But there are common warning signs that something might be wrong. Keep an eye on them, and you’ll put yourself in the best position to get healthy.
Here’s what to watch out for:
Sign 1. Digestive Issues
When you think of the potential consequences of unhealthy gut bacteria, digestive problems are probably the first things that come to mind. Many doctors will prescribe drugs like Prevacid or generic antacids to help people struggling with these issues, but those medications only address surface level symptoms. They don’t get to the root cause of the problem, which is unhealthy gut bacteria. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you might have an unhealthy gut:
· Gas ( Gas is not a natural occurrence, besides what grandma told you)
· Bloating
· Heartburn/acid reflux
· Diarrhea
· Constipation
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Irritable Bowel Disease (including Crohn’s, Celiac, Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis and many others)
Sign 2: Mental Issues
Did you know the health of your gut could affect the health of your brain? It’s true. Scientists have already discovered that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters. Now, they’re focused on another trend: people with certain mental disorders also tend to have disturbances to their gut bacteria. Also medication to take for these symptoms that are listed below, is another reason for your gut bacteria to be out of control.,
If you have any of these mental issues, your gut bacteria might be to blame:
· Depression and anxiety
· Brain fog
· OCD
· Autism
Sign 3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
A healthy gut also plays an important role when it comes to helping your body produce and synthesize vitamins and minerals. When your gut bacteria is out of whack, your body has a harder time getting enough of the following essential vitamins and minerals:
· Vitamin D
· Vitamin K
· Vitamin B12 and B7
· Magnesium
If you’re deficient in any of the above (you can find out by getting a simple physical from your doctor), you might have an unhealthy gut. Even some doctors do not have the experience to determine vitamin deficiencies at their early stage. Give Health and Wellness a call to help you determine what you may be deficient in.
Sign 4: Antibiotics
Used correctly, antibiotics are one of the greatest innovations of modern medicine, but using them incorrectly can create gut issues. The food industry uses them indiscriminately on factory-farmed animals. Some doctors even use them on viral infections (which is useless). Antibiotics wipe out bad bacteria, but they also wipe out many of the good bacteria in the gut that are essential for your health. Research also suggests that good bacteria wiped out by antibiotics don’t replace themselves unless you intervene. If you were on antibiotic therapy to help with skin and acne conditions, you definitely have a gut bacteria problem, which some women can no longer have children because of this.
Sign 5: Chronic, Unmanaged Stress
Stress can wear you down, make you anxious, and increase your blood pressure…and it can also wreak havoc on your gut! Stress is inevitable, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. That isn’t an issue — until you let it go on for too long without managing it. Unmanaged stress raises cortisol levels, which can stop the gut from working properly. If you’ve been stressed for the past few months (or years, or decades) but haven’t acted to manage your stress, you’re more likely to have an unhealthy gut.
Sign 6: Skin Conditions
There’s been a lot of confusion about skin conditions over the years. Much of it comes from the common (but misguided) idea that the symptoms of a condition must appear in the same spot as the condition itself. For many skin conditions, the problem isn’t with the skin itself. It’s with an unhealthy gut. If you have any of these skin conditions, it could be due to unbalanced gut bacteria:
· Acne
· Rosacea
· Psoriasis
· Eczema
Sign 7: Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to manage because the body is literally attacking itself. It can be even tougher to spot the source of the problem and address it there. But more research is emerging linking autoimmune diseases to unhealthy guts. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you just might be able to make your symptoms disappear by taking care of your gut:
· Hashimoto’s
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Inflammatory bowel disease
· Multiple sclerosis
· Type 2 Diabetes
The conditions listed above in the various categories are only a sampling for each section . There are many conditions that can be treated, and if you feel that you have a gut bacteria condition, please call us for a personalized healthcare plan. As we stated before eliminating one type of food groups, cold turkey, can cause seizures.
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Health and Disease

The Truth About Lymes Disease

foresttrail

Medical communities originally believed that Lyme disease was caused by a bacterium named Borrelia burgdorferitransmitted by a bite from a deer tick. Recently, doctors and researchers have started to realize they may have focused on the wrong bacteria for the last three and a half decades.

New patients are now hearing about different decoy bugs such as Bartonellaand the microscopic parasite Babesia. And the new patients aren’t being told about the long road others have been down with the Borrelia tag, about the traps along the way. They don’t have the benefit of that perspective.

You should know, by the way, that Bartonella and Babesia are also harmless, and most of us carry them. They’re once again bait-and switch theories that promise an answer but deliver only conjecture. In case you’re wondering, Bartonella and Babesia have yet to be clinically found in a tick.

Truth is, Lyme disease isn’t the result of ticks, parasites, or bacteria.

Lyme disease is actually viral—not bacterial or parasitical. When medical communities finally awaken to this fact, there will be hope for Lyme patients. The true cause of what’s being called Lyme disease varies in each individual.

People who have different varieties of Epstein-Barr can exhibit Lyme symptoms, as can people who have HHV-6 and its various strains. People who carry any of the different strains of shingles can exhibit Lyme symptoms, with the non-rashing varieties causing the most severe cases, including symptoms such as brain inflammation and other central nervous system weaknesses.

It’s the same for any number of viruses. So many Lyme patients’ blood work also tests positive for EBV or cytomegalovirus—and so many patients have viruses that don’t even show up in tests. Any of the more aggressive varieties of these viruses can be behind a patient’s Lyme symptoms. All the viruses I list above are in the herpes family and can cause fever, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, neck pain, burning nerve pain, heart palpitations, almost any neurological symptom, and/or other symptoms that doctors think of as so-called Lyme disease.

They can dramatically decrease a patient’s quality of life and pose serious challenges if not properly treated. Even if you’re experiencing symptoms of any number of these viral infections, you might be able to avoid experiencing a full-blown mystery illness that gets the Lyme disease tag by keeping the virus in a dormant state. And if you’re already suffering from more severe symptoms tagged as Lyme, there’s a great deal you can do to combat and overcome the illness.

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Rx to Wellness

Probiotics for High Blood Pressure

HBP

Probiotics could be used for people with High Blood Pressure

Probiotics are products containing the “friendly” bacteria that normally inhabit the human intestinal tract, where these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. Some of these microbes actually produce vitamins, and evidence suggests that without them, the immune system doesn’t function optimally, compromising resistance to infection. The latest word on probiotics is that they may also help lower blood pressure. A new analysis of nine earlier randomized controlled trials found that regularly taking probiotics led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressure by 2.38. While these changes aren’t dramatic, the Australian research team that conducted the review concluded that bigger reductions may occur in people who already have high blood pressure (some of the study participants had normal blood pressure to begin with) Greater benefits might also be possible using probiotics that provide larger quantities of helpful bacteria or multiple species, or when people take probiotics for more than two months, as was the case in the studies reviewed. Positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated. The probiotics used in the studies were primarily strains of Lactobacillus in dairy products. The study authors concluded that more research is needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for control and prevention of high blood pressure.

Sources: Jing Sun et al, “Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/ HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469

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