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New Probiotic Lowers Cholesterol Levels

New research adds to growing evidence that regular consumption of probiotics has numerous health benefits beyond that of improving digestive health. New evidence shows that daily intake of two doses of a new formulation of probiotics called Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 can improve blood cholesterol levels, thus potentially reducing one’s risk for heart disease.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria found naturally in the intestines and other parts of the body. They help maintain good body functions and a lack of these live microorganisms can induce overgrowth of harmful bacteria that can cause disease. Probiotics are also found in foods like yogurt and also in dietary supplements.

Previous studies have shown that the new L. reuteri strain reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In the new study, researchers investigated if they can reduce cholesterol esters and total cholesterol levels as well. They randomly assigned 127 study participants with high cholesterol levels to take either the probiotic supplements or placebo twice daily for nine weeks.

Lead author Mitchell L. Jones, M.D., Ph.D., a research assistant in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, reports that participants who received probiotics had LDL levels that were almost 12% lower and cholesterol esters 6% lower than that of participants who took placebo. Saturated fatty acids that were bound to the cholesterol esters were also reduced by 9% , and a similar reduction was noted for total cholesterol levels in the probiotic group compared to the placebo group.

The researchers note that the dosage given to the participants was well tolerated. However, further studies involving a larger number of people may be needed to evaluate the impact of the new probiotics in the general population.


American Heart Association. Daily doses of a new probiotic reduces ‘bad’ and total cholesterol. ScienceDaily.

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