New Research Suggest that Short Chain Fatty Acids Produced in the Gut Reduces Hypertension
The gut is one of the most important organs within the human body and its role should never be understated. It works hard to convert food into energy, which gives us the precious life force that helps us soldier through our daily tasks. Additionally, it is responsible for delivering vital nutrients into our bloodstream — aiding in the maintenance of healthy cells and promoting strong bones, muscles and organs.
Furthermore, the gut has an immense job in managing waste within our bodies, including wiping out toxins and filtering out anything that might cause disease. When we give it tender loving care, it truly is a powerhouse within our lives!
We know this to be true but one aspect that is only now coming to light is how the gut flora, the bacteria in the gut, influences how we think, how we feel and how we react to the outside world. We each carry about 5 lbs of bacteria within our digestive system. When we eat, we should be feeding the gut bacteria in order that they may feed the mitochondria in our cells.
Within a single tissue cell, there are about 200 mitochondria that must convert what we eat into energy. It’s kind of like sunshine gives plants the ability to create food through photosynthesis. We are not quite so adept as plants, so we have to eat plants or animals that eat plants, in order to serve up the ingredients needed for us to be vitalized.
From the Intelligence of Nature:
Doctors frequently suggest dietary changes should be the first option to treat hypertension, such as lowering salt intake or alcohol consumption, but new research points to the microbiome for potential treatments.
Current hypothesis suggest that diets that generate beneficial changes to the gut microbiome by increasing the generation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), lead to improvements in blood pressure. Preclinical studies in mice point to SCFA metabolites such as acetate and butyrate to lower blood pressure.
Researchers in Australia are now researching if a type of engineered fiber could be used in humans to deliver consistent high levels of beneficial SCFAs.
“The researchers turned to a fiber known as high-amylose maize starch, which can be modified to incorporate acetate and butyrate. The ultimate product is referred to as HAMSAB (acetylated and butyrylated high-amylose maize starch). As our gut microbes ferment HAMSAB, high volumes of acetate and butyrate are released into the colon.”
In a twenty-participant study, the HAMSAB-treated hypertensive, “24-hour systolic blood pressure dropped 6.1 mmHg, and altered each patient’s gut microbiome composition, with increased levels of acetate- and butyrate-producing bacteria.”
Larger studies are needed to further confirm this research, but these findings back up the hypothesis suggesting microbiome-produced SCFAs play a role in regulating human blood pressure. If you desire to increase SCFAs, be sure to eat a diet full of dietary fiber from plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes.
The gut-heart axis might be the next wave of impactful discoveries highlighting how you can improve your health starting with your gut microbiome!
Source: Haridy, Rich “Blood pressure reduced by engineered fiber supplements” New Atlas. JAN. 10, 2023
Interestingly, Hippocrates said that all disease begins in the gut 2500 years ago. We are just catching up. Eat plenty of fiber to keep your blood pressure in a normal range.
Best in health,