Changing diet can be effective in reducing high blood pressure, but new research has revealed that people's natural gut bacteria can alter the effectiveness of this dietary change, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers used urinary 'finger-printing' to determine the effects of three 'healthy' diets on volunteers with moderately high blood pressure . The method allowed researchers to evaluate individual responses to carbohydrate-rich, protein-rich and monounsaturated fat-rich diets and monitor how closely the volunteers followed the diet.
The researchers found that each of the three healthy diets generally produced reduced blood pressure in most of the participants but that a small proportion of individuals responded less well to healthy diets. This was found to be due to individual differences in their gut bacteria, which were detected by identifying bacterial metabolites in the urine.
Dr. Loo said that, although further research was needed, it would be feasible in the future for diabetologists, cardiologists, and dieticians to adopt a new approach in identifying an individuals' clinical response to diet therapy, as well their adherence to prescribed diets.