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Probiotics : a matter of the Heart

Well Being| Views: 2025

The merits of probiotics are known for intestinal transit, the immune system and several other aspects of well-being. It’s encouraging to learn that they would also bring benefits to the heart! Although cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, it is often preventable1. The reality is that 90% of Canadians aged 20 and older have at least one risk factor for heart disease2.

Reducing levels of bad cholesterol and controlling blood pressure

Prolonged probio-therapy (more than one year) would significantly reduce blood cholesterol. The strains demonstrating the greatest hypolipidemic effect are Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli (particularly L. acidophilus)3,4. Studies show that probiotics also allow for a modest decrease in blood pressure, especially mixtures of strains in daily doses of more than 10 million bacteria, for at least 2 months5.

In addition to reducing your waist size and controlling your weight

Some bacterial strains prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the digestive tract, others provide more satiety, while others help to burn a little more calories. A study of obese women who took a supplement of Lactobacillus rhamnosus for more than 6 months showed that they lost more weight (and especially fat) than those who did not consume this probiotic6.

Flash Quiz to see who the Experts are!

True or False? Adopting a modified fat diet is also indicated to reduce blood cholesterol beyond supplementation.

True. It would actually be ideal to combine the intake of probiotics and a low-fat diet in bad saturated fats and rich in good unsaturated fats.


 Statistique Canada [Website]. Consulted June 5 2017. http://cbpp-pcpe.phac- aspc.gc.ca/fr/chronic-diseases/cardiovascular-diseases/

2 Government of Canada [Website]. Consulted June 5 2017. https:// www.canada.ca/fr/sante-publique/services/maladies/maladies-coeur-sante- coeur.html

3 Kumar M, Nagpal R, Kumar R, Hemalatha R and al.Cholesterol-lowering probiotics as potential biotherapeutics for metabolic diseases. Exp Diabetes Res. 2012 May [Epub].

4 Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N et Jayasinghe R. Effect of probiotics on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Hypertension. 2014 Oct; 64(4):897-903.

5 Ross NM et Katan MB. Effects of probiotic bacteria on diarrhea, lipid metabolism, and carcinogenesis : a review of papers published between 1988 and 1998. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb; 71 (2) : 405-411.

6 Sanchez M, Darimont C, Drapeau V, Emady-Azar S et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. Br J Nutr. 2014 Apr; 111(8): 1507-19.