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Food supplement as treatment for high blood pressure
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Food supplement as treatment for high blood pressure

Associate Professor Francine Marques, Institution: Monash University

2018 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2019-2020


The blood pressure of two thirds of hypertensive patients is uncontrolled. One of the reasons for this is low compliance as anti-hypertensive medication has several undesirable side effects. Evidence from our group has emerged that the association between fibre intake and lower blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality may be due to our gut microbes. While our bodies are incapable of digesting some types of fibre, they feed communities of beneficial bacteria. The breakdown of fibre by gut microbes results in the release of certain molecules into our body, and some can reach our bloodstream.

Our pre-clinical studies have shown that two of these molecules, called acetate and butyrate, are able to lower blood pressure and decrease heart disease. We have a food supplement which has been modified to release high levels of acetate and butyrate in the gut. Importantly, this food supplement is safe for human consumption. Our aim is to determine if this food supplement, by releasing high levels of acetate and butyrate in the gut, could lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The use of a food supplement that releases gut metabolites that lower blood pressure could represent a new paradigm in the treatment of hypertension and help Australians to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease.

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