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Dr Matthew Snelson

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Dr Matthew Snelson

Measuring and stopping the leaky gut in hypertension

Dr Matthew Snelson, Monash University

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2023-2024

High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. An important protective factor for high blood pressure is dietary fibre. Our team has determined this happens through the release of beneficial substances by gut microbes. These substances are key for improving the lining of the gut. In the absence of these substances, the gut may become leaky, when microbes and harmful microbial substances pass from the gut to our blood. This may result in an exaggerated inflammation in our body that contributes to the development of high blood pressure. So far, there is limited evidence available in animal models only.

I hypothesise patients with high blood pressure have a leaky gut, which will be exacerbated in those resistant to currently available blood pressure-lowering medication. I will determine if indeed the human hypertensive gut is leaky and test the use of beneficial substances produced by gut microbes to reduce gut leakiness and blood pressure in a clinical trial. This would represent a new treatment for hypertension.

Last updated17 January 2023