It's a long-term procedure, however, and no reductions in blood pressure readings were seen in people taking a probiotic for less than eight weeks, say researchers at the Griffith University school of medicine.
Lead researcher Jing Sun thinks a probiotic could have a positive impact on other areas of cardiovascular health, too, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing blood glucose and insulin resistance, both markers of type 2 diabetes.
Probiotics lower systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic pressure by an average of 2.38 mm Hg. They were even more effective in a person whose blood pressure is already elevated, according to current medical thinking, and is above 130/85.
The researchers made their conclusions after they analysed nine studies, involving 543 adults. The participants had taken probiotics in yoghurt, fermented and sour milk and cheese, and supplements.
(Source: Hypertension, 2014; doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469)