Probiotics: high cholesterol’s worst nightmare

We live in a high cholesterol world. From movie theater popcorn with gobs of butter to down-home fried chicken (hungry yet?), the urge to ignore those ugly cholesterol numbers and chow down is hard to ignore.

Cholesterol has a good component (HDL) and a bad component (LDL). The higher the LDL levels, the higher the risk of heart disease. HDL, on the other hand, protects against heart disease.

Fermented milk and acidophilus have been shown to increase HDL and lower LDL, decreasing the chance of heart disease.

Probiotics can break down cholesterol and use it in their metabolic processes, which decreases your cholesterol levels. L. acidophilus and L. lactis have been shown in studies to decrease cholesterol.

Probiotics may even decrease cholesterol by changing the way the liver synthesizes cholesterol. The liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids. Bile is stored in the liver and, when needed, pumped into the small bowel where 95% is reabsorbed. Probiotics make an enzyme that breaks down the bile salts that can’t be reabsorbed. The liver then reaches out into the blood to get new cholesterol, which lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood. All bifidobacter species, lactobacillus acidophilus, and some other lactobacilli have this capability.

Adding prebiotics to probiotics helps probiotics flourish, but also prebiotics – because they’re fiber – directly work to decrease cholesterol. Talk about a win-win!

Now, I’m not advocating a daily fried food diet, but any help I can get with lowering my cholesterol, we’ll take! How about you? What’s your favorite food that you just know makes your cholesterol aim toward the sky?

My pick: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits. . . excuse me. I’ve uh. . . gotta go to lunch.

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

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