Heart disease continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States despite increases in risk factor management and treatment improvement. Heart disease can many times be prevented or improved when people make healthy choices. Unfortunately, traditional medicine takes a very myopic approach to cardiovascular disease and risk factors. In addition, these patients are not told that they can change the trajectory of their health concerns with diet, lifestyle, and nutritional therapeutics.

Emerging research has demonstrated a role of dysbiosis in the gut microbiome and its impact on cardiovascular health.

According to a review published in Current Medicinal Chemistry, researchers investigated the effect of probiotics on oxidized LDL levels.

This review included seven studies with a clinical trial design assessing the effect of probiotics on serum oxLDL levels compared to placebo. The range of study duration was between 3 to 12 weeks. As a result, this review demonstrated that probiotic supplementation significantly reduced oxLDL levels compared to placebo. The results also demonstrated that probiotic supplementation reduced triglycerides, LDL cholesterol levels, and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio. In addition, in further subgroup analysis the reduction in oxLDL was more significant in unhealthy participants.

Previous research has shown a beneficial effect of probiotic supplementation on lipid markers.

This effect of probiotics on oxLDL levels is thought to be by improving the lipid profile and reducing oxidative stress. Probiotics produce an enzyme called bile acid hydrolase that deconjugates bile acids. This leads to a reduction in cholesterol levels by decreasing its absorption or increasing the demand for cholesterol to produce new bile acids. Also, probiotics produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through the fermentation process, which inhibits cholesterol synthesis.

Several studies have also shown that probiotics can act as antioxidants by producing antioxidant metabolites, modulating the gut microbiome, and reducing the number of pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

It is also important to look deeper into the cardiovascular system. Health care providers have many tools to assess cardiovascular health and support the body’s physiology. It is essential to perform a thorough assessment for these patients. This may include looking at an advanced lipid profile, inflammatory markers, nutrient status, oxidative stress factors, heavy metals, and a fatty acid profile.

Other nutrients to consider for overall decreasing oxLDL include curcumin, niacin, bergamot, and delta and gamma tocotrienol isomers.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Kiani Z, et al. (2023). The effect of probiotics on oxidized LDL levels: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Curr Med Chem. Aug 15. doi: 10.2174/0929867331666230815104548. 

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