Probiotics found to help lower blood pressure
Having probiotics (found in live yogurt, fermented and sour milk, probiotic cheese, probiotic supplements, drinks, miso soup and other foods) has a modest effect on lowering blood pressure, according to the results of a study analysing other studies on the subject (a meta-anaysis)
Better reductions were seen in people who had higher blood pressure and who took multiple probiotics. Taking probiotics for longer was more beneficial.
“However, even a small reduction of blood pressure may have important public health benefits and cardiovascular consequences,” states Dr Saman Khalesi (Griffith University, Australia) in the article published July 21 in Hypertension.
Just a small reduction in blood pressure was associated with a 22% relative reduction in risk of cardiovascular mortality, MI, or stroke.
Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N, Jayasinghe R. Effect of probiotics on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Hypertension 2014; DOI:10.161/hypertensionaha.114.03469. Abstract
Probiotics found to help reduce crying, spitting up, positing / posseting in babies
Daily use of a probiotic early in life reduced inconsolable crying, spitting up / positing and functional constipation in newborns reports a new study in JAMA No adverse events were reported by parents and the supplements were well tolerated (http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1812293)
Although infantile colic is not considered a serious problem by the medical profession, 10% to 20% of all pediatrician visits in the first 4 months are related to this issue.
Colicky crying frequently contributes to anxiety, exhaustion, and stress.
Posseting / positing / spitting up is very common (around 50% of babies do this for at least their first 12 weeks, some for much longer).
Constipation can be a real issue for both the baby and the family – with little ones being really uncomfortable in the days leading up to a bowel movement, as well as crying considerably beforehand in some cases.
What are called “functional gastrointestinal disorders” in newborns usually gets better of their own accord, but help from probiotics, having your newborn checked by a qualified paediatric osteopath for neck tightness, a headache that is coming from the neck, other muscular tension due to being tightly packed / a bit squashed inside mum’s tummy or due to a speedy / very long or slightly tricky birth can make a real difference to everyone’s quality of life
Probiotics found to help reduce constipation in adults and babies
There is now fair evidence to suggest that probiotics reduce certain constipation-related symptoms.
A new study looked at a specific strain of probiotics: Lactobacillus casei as a treatment for functional constipation in otherwise-healthy subject. There was a small but significant improvement in constipation severity at week 4 – this was seen to grow over time.
For some reason the authors used a milk drink containing a mix of sugar, skimmed milk powder, glucose, calcium, vitamins, and permitted flavourings. This would not have been especially useful in patients with lactose intolerance – interestingly, they did exclude patients with milk protein allergy.
Some studies show that multi-strain probiotics have greater efficacy than single strains, including strains that are components of the mixtures themselves – so it might have been better for the authors to use a multi-strain probiotic. It may also have been useful to compare the result with a probiotic capsule that would have not contained the sugar, glucose and skimmed milk powder that the drink contained.
The Study: Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Effects of a Probiotic Fermented Milk on Functional Constipation: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.Mena Mustapha Mazlyn, Lee Hun-Leong Nagarajahl Arshad Fatimah, A Karim Norimah, Khean-Lee Goh. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;28(7):1141-1147.
other refs: European Journal of Nutrition. Health benefits of probiotics: are mixtures more effective than single strains?
C. M. C. Chapman, G. R. Gibson, I. Rowland February 2011, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 1-17