Several studies have shown that certain probiotics can lower blood cholesterol, particularly in people with high cholesterol levels. Probiotics are live microbes that, when eaten, provide specific health benefits. It can help restore healthy gut bacteria, improving your heart health.
Here’s Why Having High Cholesterol In You Is Bad
The waxy substance in your blood is cholesterol. Although your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, high cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease. High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits in your blood vessels. The stakes grow, making blood flow through your arteries harder. Those deposits can sometimes break suddenly, causing a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
Although high cholesterol can be inherited, it’s often caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, making it preventable and treatable. Reducing high cholesterol with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medication is possible.
Having high cholesterol can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries. These deposits can lessen blood flow through your veins which can cause complications such as:
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
How Do Probiotics Help With Regulating Cholesterol?
It’s challenging to imagine how bacteria in our gut can affect cholesterol management. However, it is believed that there are several mechanisms by which probiotics may lessen cholesterol:
- Reducing the absorption of cholesterol from our food. Some probiotic bacteria take up cholesterol from their surrounding environment, and others have a sticky surface to which cholesterol attaches, preventing it from being absorbed in the gut.
- Increasing bile production in the body can reduce circulating cholesterol levels. Probiotic bacteria contain enzymes, which break down components of our food. Cholesterol is required to make more bile, so circulating cholesterol in the body is used to replace the lost bile salts.
- Reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Certain probiotic strains produce short-chain fatty acid and propionic acid, which can lower cholesterol production by the liver under certain conditions.
Other Ways of Lowering Your Cholesterol
1. Eat heart-healthy foods
- Reduce saturated fats
- Eliminate trans fats
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Increase soluble fiber
- Add whey protein
2. Exercise on most days of the week and increase your physical activity
- Take a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
- Ride your bike to work
- Play a favorite sport
3. Quit smoking
- Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
- Within three months of leaving, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve
- Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker
4. Lose weight
Carrying even a few extra pounds contributes to high cholesterol. Small changes add up. If you drink sugary beverages, switch to tap water.
5. Drink alcohol only in moderation
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65 and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.