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Probiotics May Lower LDL Cholesterol

There are two different kinds of cholesterol: HDL ( "good") cholesterol and LDL ( "bad") cholesterol. A recent study suggests that probiotics may lower LDL cholesterol by 11.6%.

The study included 127 individuals with high cholesterol. Over the course of nine weeks, half of the group took a probiotic supplement consisting of 200 mg of the bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, while the other half took a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, the probiotic group not only had lower LDL cholesterol but also showed a 6.3% reduction in cholesterol esters and an 8.8% reduction in cholesterol ester saturated fatty acids.

Cholesterol esters form by the transfer of fatty acids to cholesterol. They have a very low ability to dissolve in blood and tend to accumulate in the walls of arteries, which can lead to atherosclerosis.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012 the week of November 3, 2012. It was conducted by researchers at McGill University in Canada.

Probiotics are most commonly known for improving digestion and gut health, but they have also been linked to other health benefits including weight loss, a stronger immune system, and a reduced 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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