Have High Cholesterol? Probiotics May Help
Are you struggling with high cholesterol, trying to find natural ways to lower it? Do you fear the health consequences that could arise if you don’t get it under control—like an increased risk of heart attacks, heart disease, and strokes? Sadly, you are not alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that nearly one-third of all adults in the United States have LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels that are higher than they should be. Worse yet, less than one-third of those individuals have gained any type of control over this condition, potentially resulting in further health issues. That makes finding a way to lower cholesterol levels imperative to protecting the health of our nation as a whole. Fortunately, probiotics may just help.
Two researchers from a Thai university studied 64 people who had total cholesterol levels that were 200 mg/dL or higher (200 mg/dL is considered “borderline high”). Approximately one-half of them were given a capsule which contained two probiotics, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum, three times a day for six weeks. The remaining half of the participants was given a placebo for the same amount of time.
To help improve the validity of the findings, all participants were asked to avoid consuming any foods or supplements containing probiotics during the course of the study and neither the investigators nor the patients knew which group they were in. Blood samples were taken prior to and upon completion of the study to determine total cholesterol, good and bad cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood glucose levels at both intervals. Basic demographics, such as age, sex, weight, and height were recorded as well.
Researchers found that the study participants who were taking the probiotics had “significantly lower” total cholesterol levels at the conclusion of the study when compared to those who were given the placebo (whose numbers actually increased during this six-week timeframe). Their levels of good and bad cholesterol decreased as well.
This is good news as probiotics are a natural treatment remedy that work with your body and help it heal itself. Furthermore, they are easy enough to take as they can be found in some basic food sources, such as yogurt, as well as in capsules and pills which are generally offered by a number of natural healthcare providers.
Ideally, adults over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked every five years, or more often if it is high. So, if you haven’t had yours checked lately, it may just save your life if you do. And if you already know you have higher-than-healthy levels of cholesterol, probiotics may just help. Talk to your doctor and see if this all-natural option is right for you.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, March 17). High cholesterol facts.
- Mayo Clinic. (2014, November 22). Disease and conditions: high cholesterol.
- Rerksuppaphol S, Rerksuppaphol L. A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Trial of Lactobacillus acidophilus Plus Bifidobacterium bifidum versus Placebo in Patients with Hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR. 2015;9(3):KC01-KC04. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2015/11867.5728.