FEB 03, 2017 09:29 AM PST

A link between gut microbes and hypertension

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
3 20 1026

New research out of the Baylor College of Medicine establishes a link between gut microbes and hypertension. That’s right, gut microbes are in the news yet again.

 

Fact is, alterations to the gut microbiome - termed “dysbiosis” - are already associated with cardiovascular issues. As such, the group proposed that gut microbes transferred from a hypertensive rat to a healthy rat would give that animal hypertension. Conversely, they predicted that transferring gut microbes from the healthy rat to a hypertensive rat would attenuate the hypertension.

 

Gut microbes may affect hypertension.

To start, the researchers collected cecal contents from wild type or hypertensive rats (spontaneously hypertensive stroke prone rates). They washed and centrifuged the samples and collected the supernatants. The recipient rats were given antibiotics to reduce the number of native gut bacteria.

 

After transferring gut microbes (supernatants) from hypertensive rats to healthy rats (and vice versa), they recorded blood pressure weekly. Sure enough, blood pressure increased in healthy rats when they were given gut microbes from hypertensive animals! However, blood pressure decreased only somewhat in hypertensive rats that were given healthy gut microbes.

 

In addition to blood pressure, they also used 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize what types of bacteria predominated in each animal. They observed a significant increase in the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes in hypertensive animals.

 

According to the authors, this study provides “further evidence for the continued study of the microbiota in the development of hypertension in humans and supports a potential role for probiotics as treatment for hypertension. Studies show that supplementing the diet with probiotics (beneficial microorganisms found in the gut) can have modest effects on blood pressure, especially in hypertensive models."

 

Gut microbes may mediate hypertension through the production of short chain fatty acids. These fatty acids act on G-protein-coupled receptors to regulate blood pressure. The researchers measured the abundance of these fatty acids in the rats, but they did not find significant changes. Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome has also been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, cancer, and changes in mental health.

 

Sources: Physiological Genomics, Science Daily, Microbe World, Mayo Clinic

 
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
JUN 04, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUN 04, 2018
What is Molecular Engineering?
An emerging field of study, molecular engineering, has many potential applications; where this research will lead is unknown.
JUN 09, 2018
Videos
JUN 09, 2018
Infectious Microbes Lurk in Hotel Pools
With thousands sickened, the CDC is concerned about hotel pools, even treated ones.
JUN 19, 2018
Microbiology
JUN 19, 2018
The Impact of Antibiotics on Gut Microbes
Antibiotics had a dramatic impact on the microbes of the GI tract in a research model.
JUN 21, 2018
Videos
JUN 21, 2018
The Salmonella Bacterium
Two recent outbreaks of illness were caused by food that was contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
JUL 16, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 16, 2018
Cyclospora to Blame for Several Foodborne Outbreaks
One outbreak of cyclosporiasis, which is caused by a parasite, has been traced back to salads sold at McDonald's, mostly in the Midwest.
JUL 29, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 29, 2018
Revealing why Sepsis Causes Organs to Fail
The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium can cause devastating illnesses - called staph infections - and lead to organ failure.
Loading Comments...