The connection between our modifiable life factors and the risk of developing diseases has been extensively reported. Indeed, our eating patterns, daily activities, exercise, relaxation methods create an algorithm to determine what kind of disease we are most likely to develop. Furthermore, the interaction between our gut microbiota, what we eat, and the metabolic products of specific bacterial strains have been associated as a potent CVD factor. Recent studies support the theory that our gut microbiota, along with comorbidities as obesity and diabetes, affects blood pressure.
What we know:
The evidence of different animal studies points to the hypothesis that microbiome-derived end products such as trimethylamine N-oxide and short-chain fatty acids, along with the presence of systemic inflammation, affect blood pressure. Consequently, these CVD-related metabolites potentiate the risk of developing multiple cardiometabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia.
Clinical research results:
In addition, low microbial diversity is present in both hypertensive animal and human model clinical findings. Consequently, human stool sample studies performed on 529 human participants of the CARDIA study determined the following results.
- High blood pressure and systolic blood pressure were inversely associated with high gut microbiota diversity, richness, and abundance.
- The community of gut microbiota significantly differs according to the patient’s blood pressure.
- Hypertension and systolic blood pressure are associated with a particular group of microorganisms and their metabolic end products, such as butyrate.
Following these results, evidence support that one of microbiota’s mechanism to influence blood pressure is the production of propionate, butyrate, and acetate, as found in animal fecal transplantation models.
Nevertheless, in human models, specifically in pregnant women, the production of butyrate and, therefore, the presence of microorganisms that produce butyrate play a protective role agains high blood pressure.
How to measure and control blood pressure:
According to the NCBI, blood pressure is the force of circulating blood on the walls of the arteries.
Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic (measured when the heartbeats, when blood pressure is at its highest) and diastolic (measured between heartbeats, when blood pressure is at its lowest).
What we do:
In El Paso Functional Medicine, we use the clinically validated BPBIO 320S, which allows us to assess this crucial marker to determine the patient’s risk of developing the cardiometabolic disease. Indeed, with the BPBIO 320S, we can measure the following features.
Pulse pressure: The numeric difference between systolic pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Pulse rate: The number of heartbeats per minute.
Systolic blood pressure: The amount of pressure in arteries during contraction of the heart.
Diastolic blood pressure: The amount of pressure in arteries during retraction of the heart.
Mean arterial pressure: The mean pressure in arteries during a single cardiac cycle.
Rate pressure product: An accurate indicator of myocardial oxygen demand.
Having these measurements allows us to control and create a personalized treatment to reverse cardiometabolic risk or conditions. Conversely, the integrative Functional Medicine treatment should always focus on restoring gut function. The combination of comprehensive stool testing and constant blood pressure measurements is a great way to assess nutritional, medical treatment. – Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega, MS
Sun, Shan et al. “Gut Microbiota Composition and Blood Pressure.” Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979) vol. 73,5 (2019): 998-1006. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12109
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