Women have an innate ability to increase levels of anti-inflammatory T cells which keep blood pressure down, says a recent research study conducted by the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, USA and published by Hypertension (June). Known as Tregs, the cells are naturally associated with lower blood pressure levels and minimal organ damage. Therefore women — before the onset of menopause — tend to record lower blood pressure levels than males.
“Based on study of this and other models, the ability of females to maintain or upregulate T regulatory cells is critical to their ability to maintain lower blood pressure,” says Dr. Jennifer C. Sullivan, lead researcher and professor in the department of physiology at Augusta University.
According to Dr. Sullivan, when confronted with multipronged stimuli to drive up blood pressure, including a high-salt diet, women are better equipped to keep their pressure down by increasing levels of T cells that selectively dial back inflammation.