Probiotics Lower Cholesterol Levels
Probiotics are live bacteria that live in the human gut and other parts of the body, bringing beneficial effects to their host. They have been known to prevent and treat diarrhea, yeast infection and many other conditions. Specific microbes have been known to impart certain benefits, and recent study shows that a new strain of probiotics called Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 can help reduce the risk for heart disease with its cholesterol lowering effects.
Previous studies have shown that the formulated strain of bacteria can lower blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, leading researchers to probe if they have a role in preventing chronic disease such as heart disease. Lead author Mitchell L. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., a research assistant in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, with his team investigated whether these probiotics could reduce blood levels of cholesterol esters which attach to fatty acids and contribute to the total cholesterol found in the body, and increase the risk for heart disease.
For the study, the investigators randomly assigned 127 adults with high cholesterol to take either the probiotic or placebo twice a day for nine weeks. At the end of the study, they found that those who received L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 had LDL levels 11.6% lower than those who got placebo, and cholesterol esters 6.3%, and cholesterol ester saturated fatty acids 8.8% lower than the placebo group.
Their analysis also revealed that the probiotics reduced total cholesterol by 9% while having no effect on HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
Scientists propose that the mechanism by which Lactobacillus bacteria may affect cholesterol levels includes breaking apart bile salts which results in reduced cholesterol absorption from the gut.
American Heart Association. Daily doses of a new probiotic reduces ‘bad’ and total cholesterol. ScienceDaily.