If you haven’t yet heard, then it is time to go to the store and load up on some of your favorite flavors of yogurt. That’s right; in addition to be a great snack choice when hungry, yogurt could also be very beneficial for your long-term heart health. According to new findings presented by the American Heart Association, two daily doses of probiotics could work to lower your cholesterol levels significantly.
If you didn’t know, probiotics are actually these little living organisms (actually they are labeled as microorganisms) which can really help bolster your digestion and health. Nowadays, most people get their probiotics through yogurt or other dietary supplements. Interestingly, there can be a lot of variation in how often probiotics are taken. Some people have made them a staple part of their diet; while others will take some before traveling internationally (there is a common belief that these microorganisms can help your body acclimate to a foreign culture).
Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242
During this high cholesterol clinical study, the research team used this specifically formulated probiotic that had been developed from the form of Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242. The lead investigators had chosen this type of probiotic as it had elicited some very positive effects on the cholesterol levels of participants in previous studies.
All in all, 127 adult participants were enrolled in this study (every one of them had been diagnosed with high cholesterol). In order to test the effectiveness while keeping things fair, researchers had half of their participants take the L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 doses two times a day, while the other half of participants were given placebo tablets. Following the nine week study period, researchers reported a 11.6 percent drop in the LDL cholesterol levels of the people who had been given the probiotic supplements everyday compared to the placebo group. They also reported that cholesterol esters (these are cholesterol molecules that get attached to fatty acids) were reduced by 6.3 percent in the probiotics group.
Overall, the research team was happy to announce that this first group experienced a 9.1 percent reduction in their total cholesterol levels. In addition, participants experienced no changes in their blood triglycerides (this is a risky form of fat located in the blood) or HDL cholesterol levels.
An Effective Supplement at a More Effective Dose
What researchers are really excited about was the dosage level of probiotics which proved to be effective for their participants. They had chosen to give this first group 200 milligrams of probiotic per day, which is much less than the dosage required for many other supplements used to lower cholesterol levels. Scientists believe that Lactobacillus bacteria are capable of impacting cholesterol levels in a few different ways. For this particular high cholesterol clinical trial, the strain of probiotics used was designed specifically to take action against cholesterol and bile salts. As the results seem to suggest, this probiotic did indeed break apart the bile salts, and this ultimately meant that less cholesterol could be absorbed in the gut.
What’s Next for this Well-Tolerated Probiotic?
The co-founder and chief science officer of Micropharma, Dr. Jones, seemed very pleased with the results of this clinical study. It was Micropharma that was responsible for formulating the probiotic that was used in this research. While this particular strain already has a well-established history of safe usage, Dr. Jones noted how well the participants in this latest study appeared to tolerate L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 on a daily basis.
The research team from this clinical trial has already noted that this initial round was only a small sampling of what’s to come. Due to the small number of participants for this study, they can’t yet tell for sure if there is any difference in how this probiotic works between genders or ethnic groups. Looking forward, these researchers plan to conduct more research with a much larger participant population.