Cholesterol is a major concern across the developed world. In the United States about 40 million Americans suffer from high cholesterol. Apart from the general health deterioration that cholesterol triggers, it is extremely undesirable for cardiovascular health. People with high cholesterol are at a heightened risk of suffering cardiac arrests and other health problems.
In several studies conducted in the US, Spain and other countries, probiotics have shown remarkable efficacy in lowering high cholesterol. Probiotics are healthy bacteria which are found in the human intestines that are crucial for the immune system and several other functions. Since there is a limit to the quantum of healthy live probiotics that can be found in the guts, it is advisable to take foods or supplements that are good sources of probiotics.
Now, the primary question is how probiotics can help lower high cholesterol. It has to be noted that cholesterol in itself is not bad for health. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary for several bodily functions including hormonal secretions and generation of vitamin D. It is only when cholesterol doesn’t get metabolized and absorbed by the body in various forms that high cholesterol develops. In such cases, the cholesterol remains in the blood without being used up or absorbed by the body. The presence of high cholesterol in the blood can lead to artery blockage, inflammation at various junctures and eventually leads to high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, obesity, higher blood sugar levels and also cardiac problems.
Probiotics, when consumed on a regular basis, can metabolize this cholesterol in the blood. It allows the body to use up the cholesterol and then absorb the nutrients which are necessary for the body. Experts have commended the findings since high cholesterol drugs eliminate cholesterol in its entirety which is not desirable. The absence of cholesterol in the body would invariably lead to poor health. Probiotics simply work on the level of high cholesterol, prevent building up of bad cholesterol and reduces existing levels of high cholesterol.
The numerous studies conducted across the world include Mari Fuentes and her team’s research at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Moncloa Hospital and Torrelodones University Hospital, all in Spain, the Metabolic Research Group, VA Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington and medical studies at the Shinshu University in Japan. Similar findings have been published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and by J. Martoni, Ph.D. and Satya Prakash, Ph.D. in American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.