New research has revealed that probiotic supplementation may reduce cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and minimise cholesterol carrying molecules in the bloodstream.

Researchers from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine wanted to understand how gut microbiota could affect cholesterol levels. They devised a nine week study involving 127 participants, who were classified as having moderately high levels of cholesterol, and split them into two control groups. The first group was supplemented with a probiotic formulation and the second group was given a placebo.

The results revealed that the group supplemented with a probiotic formula showed a decrease in cholesterol levels of 11.6%, furthermore, fatty acids were reduced by 8.8% and cholesterol esters were down 6.3%, compared to the placebo control group.

This is a burgeoning area of research in the probiotics industry with further research currently underway, which could lead to future health applications. Penny Kris-Etherton of Penn State University commented on the research:

“Since diet and other lifestyle approaches are the first step in treating elevated LDL-C, a non-prescription product that enhances lifestyle interventions for LDL-C lowering is of great interest, both to health professionals as well as the general public.”

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