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Probiotic Combination May Help Improve Heart Health

Lipids are fats that are either absorbed from food or synthesized by the liver.  Elevated levels of certain lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol are risk factors for atherosclerotic heart disease. A recent study suggests that supplementation with the probiotics Lactobacillus curvatus HY7601 and Lactobacillus plantarum KY1032 may lower triglyceride levels and improve other heart health markers.

Participants in the study included 128 people with hypertriglyceridemia, a condition characterized by elevated triglycerides. The participants were given either a powdered supplement containing 5 billion CFUs of each probiotic daily or a placebo for twelve weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the probiotic supplement was associated with an 18% reduction in triglyceride levels and a 21% increase in plasma apolipoprotein A-V, a triglyceride modulator. Participants in the supplement group also had increased LDL particle size. This is significant because smaller LDL particles have been found to have a greater oxidation potential than larger LDL particles.

Researchers from Yonsei Unversity and Kora Yakult Co. in Korea conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 18, 2015, in the journal Atherosclerosis.

While probiotics are most commonly associated with improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to have other health benefits, including strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement, as was done in this study, but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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