Molecular Nutrition and Food Research [IF:5.309]
Altered Gut Microbiota is Involved in the Anti‐Hypertensive Effects of Vitamin C in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat
Scope: Gut dysbiosis and dysregulation of the gut‐brain‐axis contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertension. Vitamin C (VC) is a common dietary supplement that shows the ability to lower the elevated blood pressure in hypertensive animals. Thus, we propose the hypothesis that the gut microbiota is involved in the anti‐hypertensive effect of VC.
Methods and results: We examined the changes of the gut microbiota and pathology in a spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) model after daily oral intake of VC in dosage of 200 mg/kg or 1000 mg/kg. After four weeks, the elevated blood pressure of SHRs in both VC‐treated groups were attenuated. Sequencing of the gut microbiota showed improvement in its diversity and abundance. Bioinformatic analysis suggested restored metabolism and biosynthesis related functions of the gut, which were confirmed by the improvement of gut pathology and integrity. Analysis of the hypothalamus paraventricular nucleus (PVN), the central pivot of blood pressure regulation, also showed reduced inflammatory responses and oxidative stress.
Conclusions: The reduced blood pressure, enriched gut microbiota, improved gut pathology and integrity, and reduced inflammatory responses and oxidative stress in the PVN together suggest that the anti‐hypertensive effects of VC involve reshaping of gut microbiota composition and function.