Resistant high blood pressure: Gut bacteria may be to blame

  • Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure.
  • For around 20% of them, the condition does not respond to medication.
  • In a new study performed in rats, researchers have found that enzymes produced by some gut bacteria contribute to drug resistance, preventing antihypertensive medication from working.
  • Doctors may be able to predict which antihypertensive drugs are most likely to work by profiling people’s gut microbes.
  • By changing their diet or taking medications, people may be able to modify their gut microbes and increase the efficacy of some antihypertensive medications.

Written by Katharine Lang on April 6, 2022

Fact checked by Alexandra Sanfins, Ph.D.

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