How Probiotics and Dietary Fiber Protects the Heart
The most common cause of death worldwide is heart disease. It is, therefore, imperative to look after your heart, especially as you grow old. Several foods contribute to heart health, and one recent study indicates that gut bacteria may also be beneficial.
Gut bacteria also produce beneficial substances that your body utilizes. But their ability to produce these beneficial substances largely depends on what you eat. Meaning, your diet greatly impacts your microbiome. Propionate is one such beneficial substance that your gut bacteria are capable of producing. This short-chain fatty acid comes from dietary fiber. According to a recent study, propionate can protect against the harmful effects of high blood pressure. Natural dietary fibers are found in a variety of heart-healthy foods. These include lignin in rye, inulin in beets and onions, and cellulose in whole grain products.
How do beneficial bacteria protect your heart?
- Probiotics reduce inflammation
Inflammation occurs when your body activates the immune system to fight an infection or heal a wound. However, this can also occur as the result of a poor diet, tobacco use, or an unhealthy lifestyle over a long period. Chronic inflammation can cause heart disease. Study shows that several strains of probiotics can protect your body from heart disease by reducing inflammatory chemicals.
- Probiotics lower the triglycerides
Your body gets its energy from lipids called triglycerides. You can get them from foods and your body can also make them. High levels of triglycerides combined with high levels of cholesterol can cause stroke and heart attack. Studies show that taking probiotic supplements with L. curvatus and L. Plantarum can significantly reduce blood triglycerides. Furthermore, a separate study found that supplements with beneficial bacteria were associated with significant reductions in 11 metabolites.
- Probiotics reduce the blood pressure
One of the risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure, which can be lowered with some probiotics. L. Plantarum, for instance, can significantly reduce blood pressure. However, not all probiotics are effective for improving heart health.
Short-chain fatty acid produced in the gut by beneficial microbes also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Propionate, a beneficial substance gut bacteria produces, demonstrate to protect against harmful consequences of high blood pressure.
- Probiotics lower the cholesterol level
What happens in the gut influences body weight, inflammation, and cholesterol level. Each of these contributes to heart health. Stroke and cardiovascular diseases are associated with high cholesterol levels. The body needs cholesterol to build and make hormones and bile. The problem arises when the cholesterol level becomes too high. This increases your risk of heart disease.
Keeping cholesterol levels healthy requires an active lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet. It is also common for people with high cholesterol levels to take cholesterol-lowering medications. Along with medicine, the use of probiotics is also an attractive option for those who are looking for a safe and natural supplement to support healthy cholesterol levels.