A systematic review of the effects of probiotics on the lipid profile concluded that probiotic use is beneficial in improving your cholesterol. This is amazing!
My thoughts on the data
The systematic review explores how probiotics affect the Lipid profile. There are many non pharmacological factors that affect cholesterol such as exercise, diet, and the microbiome. Cardiovascular disease is a large problem in the United States. Improving inflammatory factors, and the lipid profile would prove useful to a large demographic.
The systematic review addressed probiotic use alone, and did not address the use of probiotics in conjunction with medications. This is important for control, but it is also limiting due to the fact that patients with hyperlipidemia are commonly taking medications. It would be important to assess if there is any interaction between the two, or other contraindication for concurrent use. This research also highlights now probiotics affect our health in complex ways, and could be investigated for further use.
One critique I have in this systematic review is that there were a variety of different probiotics used in different studies. It might be useful to compare the results of different studies using the same probiotics. Different probiotics have different effects, as we well know. There seems to be lumping together of all probiotics, in general. Some of the studies referenced do not list the specific strain, but only the bacterial species, which is not particularly helpful due to the highly variable genetic nature of bacteria. There is a high degree of variability within species. These studies could have been excluded.
Health Care Implications
The review itself was summarized in a table that was clear, concise, and very helpful from a clinical perspective. The species, and strain was listed, along with the results, limitations, and conclusions. This is useful for a prescriptive perspective, as well as to reference against other studies. The table listed specific species and strains if they were tested.
It is easy to determine which studies resulted in alterations in the lipid profile, and exactly how. This is clearly presented with the exact intervention (bacteria utilized). Based on the chart provided, it is easy to determine which bacterial strain you might prescribe based on the desired lipid effect.
The overall conclusions highlighted the fact that the microbiome affects many different elements of the metabolic process. It affects not only the lipid profile, but also many other factors affecting cardiovascular disease such as glycemic control and low grade systemic inflammation. This review acknowledges the need for studies with probiotics and medication concurrent use.
Check out the article for specifics
Gadelha CJMU, Bezerra AN. Effects of probiotics on the lipid profile: systematic review. J Vasc Bras. 2019;18:e20180124. https://doi.org/10.1590/1677-5449.180124
If you have cholesterol problems, ask your PCP!
Be aware that not all probiotics are created equal. I personally like Seed (seed.com). I love their probiotics so much that I contacted them asking for a promo code. While this does nothing for me, it does get you 20% off your first month.
Promo code: YHN20
Remember to take probiotics on an EMPTY stomach when there’s less acid