Feb 27 2013, 3:56am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Yale University in the US have discovered that a specialized receptor found in the nose, which is also present in the body's blood vessels, senses small molecules created by the gut bugs which line mammalian intestines and responds to these molecules by increasing BP.
"The contribution that gut microbes apparently make to blood pressure regulation and human health is a surprise," says Jennifer Pluznick, assistant professor of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, adding that there is still much to learn about how blood pressure is maintained in the body, and that these are just one of the players involved.
"We don't know why it would be beneficial for blood pressure to decrease after eating or why gut microbes would play a part in signalling that change. But our work opens the door for exploring the effects of antibiotic treatments, probiotics and other dietary changes on blood pressure levels in mice and perhaps, eventually, people," said Pluznick.
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