Probiotics and Cardiovascular Disease

Can high homocysteine levels in the body result from something else going on in your digestive system or dysbiosis in your gut? We discuss homocysteine and how to protect your heart with probiotics.

If you need help learning how to protect your heart with probiotics, click here

Probiotics and Cardiovascular Disease

In this week’s video, we spoke about how a clinical study used probiotics to increase important B vitamin production in the digestive track of adult participants. This increase in production of B vitamins decreased homocysteine levels in the body.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that correlates with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. High levels of homocysteine in the blood can indicate early development of heart and blood vessel disease. There are several factors that are found to raise homocysteine levels in the blood. Some examples are:

  • Poor diet and lifestyle
  • High caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Smoking
  • Prescription drugs
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Raised levels of homocysteine are also associated with some intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s and Celiac disease. In addition, high levels are often also indicated with other chronic inflammatory diseases. The body’s metabolism of homocysteine depends on certain vitamin cofactors. Specifically, deficiencies in B vitamins and folic acid are linked with raised homocysteine levels in the body. 

Probiotics and Vitamin Production

We know that taking the right strains of probiotics can dramatically increase the health of our digestive system but specific strains also support the production of necessary vitamins. The microbiota of our colon is known to produce vitamin K and most of the water-soluble B vitamins including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7), cobalamin (B12), and folic acid. When there is an imbalance of certain strains of bacteria in our digestive system, we often find deficiencies with vitamin K and B vitamins. If there is a deficiency in B vitamins we can start to see elevated homocysteine levels.

Protect Your Heart With Probiotics

There are many strains of friendly bacteria living in our intestines. Science is just scratching the surface in the discovery of thousands of strains that offer health benefits. One important strain is Lactobacilli or Lactobacillus bacteria. The most well-known probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus, and it is key to the health of our small intestine. When L. acidophilus breaks down food in our intestine, several substances are formed that create an unfavorable environment for the “bad” bacteria. This probiotic also helps to increase nutrient absorption and HDL (good) cholesterol while decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. There is increased discussion that some forms of cardiovascular disease are autoimmune in nature. Much of heart disease has to do with the immune activation against cholesterol. The largest density of immune cells in our bodies resides in the small intestine. Modulating the gut helps with our immune system, assists in the production and absorption of B vitamins, and increases homocysteine metabolism to lower levels in the blood.

Another important probiotic in this strain is Lactobacillus bulgaricus. It too benefits our small intestine by protecting the mucosal lining but has also been shown to lower LDL, total cholesterol, and decrease inflammation.

An alternative beneficial bacteria strain is Bifidobacterium. These bacteria inhabit the large intestine preventing pathogenic bacteria and yeast from invading. Both Bifidum infantis and Bifidum breve have been shown to reduce inflammation and support the immune system by attaching to the cells of the intestine to protect the lining against toxins. Bifidobacterium are also key in the production of our K and B vitamins.

Which Probiotic to Choose

With so many probiotic options out there, which one do you choose? Not all probiotics are created equal. I recommend a multi-species probiotic supplement that has the important strains of bacteria to not only support your digestion and immune function but also assist in vitamin B production and absorption. It is a hypoallergenic, dairy-free formula with a blend of 12 certified probiotic species to provide a complete spectrum of microorganisms.

For more information or to purchase click here.

If you need help learning how to protect your heart with probiotics, click here

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.


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