GC Genome’s New Study Reveals Link Between Gut Microbiome and High Blood Pressure

A large Korean population study provides scientific evidence that altering the gut microbiome composition through dietary habit change can help prevent and manage the hypertension.

GC Genome Corporation, a leading genomic diagnostics company, announced the publication of a study in Frontiers in Microbiomes. This study demonstrates the association between gut microbiome and Hypertension, underscoring the importance of the gut microbiome in relation to hypertension in collaboration with the research team at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital. It suggests that modifying dietary habits to alter enterotypes could serve as effective practical approach for managing and preventing hypertension. These findings carry potential implications for individuals seeking to improve their cardiovascular health.


“Hypertension is a complex condition influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. And recent studies suggest that gut bacteria play a role in regulating blood pressure,” said Ju Sun Song, MD, Senior director of the research institute at GC Genome. “This research provides the scientific evidence in the large Korean population for the first time that modifying dietary habits, such as consuming fruits, vegetables, and following a traditional Korean diet, can aid in the prevention and management of hypertension.”

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a global health concern affecting an estimated 1.13 billion individuals worldwide, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, and poses a tremendous public health burden. South Korea, in particular, has witnessed a high prevalence of hypertension due to an aging population and the adoption of a westernized lifestyle. The number of hypertension patients surpassed 12 million in 2018 and continues to rise steadily.

In this study, researchers recruited over 600 Korean patients who underwent medical checkups, and their gut microbiomes were analyzed using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology. The team compared four enterotypes based on dietary habits: Prevotella, Bacteroides1, Bacteroides2, and Ruminococcaceae. The results indicated that the Bacteroides2 enterotype, characterized by high animal fat consumption and low microbial diversity, strongest associated with hypertension. Conversely, the Ruminococcaceae-dominant enterotype, linked to a higher intake of vegetables and fruits, displayed the lowest association with hypertension. Notably, these findings align with the recommendations in the 2017 hypertension clinical guidelines, which suggest increasing the consumption of vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, nuts, and unsaturated fatty acids while reducing the intake of red meat.

In addition, it was also confirmed that hypertension occurring in the Bacteroides 2 enterotype had a significantly lower ratio of Faecalibacterium rather than other enterotypes. Faecalibacterium ferments dietary fiber that has reached the large intestine without being digested or absorbed, thereby producing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) having anti-inflammatory effects and is promising beneficial bacterium that is in the spotlight as a next-generation probiotics. Therefore, the study also emphasizes the importance of considering enterotypes in clinical studies exploring hypertension interventions, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) or Faecalibacterium. Further investigation is needed to fully understand the interaction of gut microbiome with the food we eat and our health.

About GC Genome
GC Genome is a leading diagnostics company that aims to connect the care and cure to the world by offering genetic diagnosis services for Oncology, Pre&Neonatal, Rare Diseases, and Health Check-ups and suggesting personalized treatment for longer and healthier lives. The company was established in 2013 as a subsidiary of the GC group, a prominent healthcare organization worldwide. GC Genome operates a CAP-accredited laboratory and places the utmost emphasis on R&D. The company has forged robust partnerships with national hospitals and universities, and has shown impressive growth momentum by steadily increasing its test volumes.

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