You might have already known that probiotics can help with digestive issues, but you might not be aware you can take a probiotic for heart health as well. Princeton Nutrients’ HeartBiotics contains a form of beneficial bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) that has been shown to provide important benefits to the cardiovascular system.
L. Reuteri and Cholesterol Reduction
Scientific trials show that a specific strain of L. reuteri, known as L. reuteri NCIMB 30242, lowers the levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, in the body. This probiotic for heart health not only helps eliminate excess cholesterol from the body, it also helps increase the efficiency of cholesterol metabolism.1 As a result, L. reuteri helps to reduce the chances that bad cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries and increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Several studies in humans show how important the L. reuteri probiotic for heart health can be. In one study that involved a group of adults with high cholesterol levels, participants ingested either a yogurt containing L. reuteri or a yogurt without the strain. After a period of six weeks, researchers found that not only did the group ingesting L. reuteri see an average 5 percent drop in overall cholesterol, their LDL cholesterol levels dropped an average of 9 percent. In addition, patients taking L. reuteri showed a steep drop in a protein known as apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB-100), which is a major risk factor for the development of heart disease.2
In another study, adults with high levels of LDL cholesterol took capsules containing L. reuteri for a six-week period. Their total cholesterol levels fell by 9 percent, their LDL levels fell by 12 percent, and their apoB-100 levels fell by 8 percent.3
Researchers conducting the study said the results support the idea that cholesterol reduction can also reduce two inflammation markers in the body, hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) and a substance known as fibrinogen. Patients who took the L. reuteri capsules saw a 62 percent reduction in hs-CRP and a 14 percent reduction in fibrinogen. The subjects who saw these reductions were classified in the “average” or “high-risk” categories of hs-CRP levels before the study began. Nearly 30 percent of them either saw their risk lowered from “high” to “average” or from “average” to “low.” Some even saw their risk move from “high” to “low.”4
How Does L. Reuteri Reduce LDL Cholesterol?
The L. reuteri strain found in HeartBiotics from Princeton Nutrients reduces cholesterol by producing bile salt hydrolase (BSH), an important enzyme found in the liver. BSH makes it harder for the body to absorb LDL cholesterol into the bloodstream. Instead, it is trapped in the gastrointestinal tract and ultimately excreted.
Cholesterol is a fat, and as such, it doesn’t dissolve in water. This can be an issue because cholesterol is important for such functions as the creation of hormones as well as protective cell membranes. Free bile acids bond to amino acids, known as taurine and glycine, and are then sent to the intestines. These bonded acids help the body absorb cholesterol.5
But when there’s too much cholesterol in the body – more than can be put to use – the body then “reabsorbs” it. This is where problems with the cardiovascular system can occur. The BSH formed by L. reuteri breaks down those amino acid bonds, trapping excess cholesterol in the gut so it can be eliminated from the body.
Taking a Probiotic for Heart Health
There are a lot of supplements that contain L. reuteri, but that doesn’t mean they will all work. You need to do a little bit of research before you make your decision, so that you’ll have the best possible chance of getting your money’s worth. The labels of the products you’re considering will give you important clues.
For example, if the label states something along the lines of “viable at the time of manufacture,” this refers to the state of the bacteria contained in the product. In this particular instance, the label is telling you that there’s no guarantee those bacteria will be alive when you ingest them. They were alive when the product was made, but that’s all you know. If, on the other hand, the label says, “viable until expiration date,” that’s a great indication that the product will still contain live bacteria.
The label should also provide information on how the product needs to be stored. Some probiotics need to be refrigerated, while others need only be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to taking a probiotic for heart health. That’s why it’s so important that you read the manufacturer’s directions. Princeton Nutrients, the maker of HeartBiotics, recommends you take two capsules a day with breakfast.
Are Probiotics Safe?
If you are in overall good health, you should have no problems taking a probiotic for heart health. HeartBiotics contains no manmade or synthetic ingredients, and produces no known side effects.
However, if you have intestinal problems, or your immune system has been compromised due to an illness, it will be very important that you talk to your doctor first before taking any sort of supplement. Some people have reported a worsening of symptoms after taking probiotics, so make sure you get permission from your doctor first.
Does it Work?
Users of HeartBiotics from Princeton Nutrients sometimes say they experience greater energy after taking the product, but everyone is different. It can be difficult to determine exactly when a particular user may start seeing results. The company recommends that users try HeartBiotics for one month before making a determination as to whether or not the product is providing them with benefits.
Princeton Nutrients not only ensures the quality of HeartBiotics and all of its other products by sending them to independent labs for testing, the company also stands behind everything it sells. If a customer isn’t completely satisfied, all he or she needs to do is send the bottles back within 90 days to receive a no-hassle, no questions asked refund.