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Probiotics May Improve HDL Cholesterol in Obese People

A recent study found that supplementation with probiotics and an herbal preparation called Bofutsushosan may improve HDL (or “good”) cholesterol levels in obese individuals.

Participants in the study included 64 obese women, 50 of whom completed the trial. Over the course of eight weeks, the women took either Bofutsushosan with probiotics or Bofutsushosan alone.

The probiotics administered contained five billion viable cells of Streptococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, B. longum, and B. breve.

At the conclusion of the study, there were no significant differences in body composition or metabolic markers between the two groups. However, the probiotic group had improvements in HDL cholesterol when compared with the placebo group.

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 2, 1014, in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

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 but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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