ProBiotics Cheap: Lower Blood Pressure Can probiotics help lower your blood pressure?
by Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.T.
Excessive cholesterol levels are associated with cardiovascular problems leading to coronary failure. New scientific findings may help to protect your health.
Since heart disease is the number one killer in the industrialised world, medical researchers are looking high and low for a cure. They list genetics, life style, abnormal clotting factors, and high levels of homocysteine and C-reactive protein as some 'usual suspects' for cardiovascular problems. In addition, new studies link bad germs and viruses like chlamydia, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Helicobacter pylori, treponema, borrelia, mycoplasma, and coxsackievirus with heart disease.
Though these new findings are important, it is still necessary to keep your total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels within healthy ranges. If you don't you face considerable risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This is no small consideration. The average heart bypass surgery costs US $50,000 and requires about six months to recuperate. Thus, it's important to reduce high cholesterol levels in the blood and arteries.
Here's the dilemma. While there are drugs on the market to lower cholesterol, such medications can bring serious side effects. The Physician's Desk Reference warns pregnant women or people with liver or kidney disease to avoid taking cholesterol lowering drugs (1995). Even in healthy people, these substances often cause abdominal pain, allergic reactions, emotional imbalances, hair loss, changes in eyesight, headache, sore throat, and muscle cell degeneration. Some patients report impotency and diminished sex drive on such medication.
On top of this, steroids, diuretics, and beta-blockers prescribed to control excessive blood pressure often effect the proper ratio of good fat to bad fat in the blood. Even drugs like levodopa used to treat Parkinson's disease can be a problem. Fortunately, there's a safer way to lower excessive cholesterol levels - a natural method that does not carry such health risks and supports healthy forces already in the body. But first, let's learn how reasonable amounts of cholesterol are essential to your health.
Why You Need Some Cholesterol
Despite its outlaw reputation, cholesterol helps build cell membranes and is found in every body cell, especially in the brain, blood, liver and bile, and central nervous system. In the healthy body about 80 % of all cholesterol is produced in the liver. The other 20 % comes from your diet. But when you consume too much fat in food, the normal healthy balance of cholesterol is upset. Classified as a steroid, cholesterol is needed in the manufacture of sex hormones and is also important for food digestion. Without it, the normal metabolic processes burning fats and fat-soluble vitamins would not happen.
Cholesterol is carried through the blood to body cells by special protein molecules known as lipoproteins. High density lipoproteins (HDLs) carry only a little cholesterol and are considered desirable because they remove excess cholesterol from the blood and tissues and return it to the liver. HDL cholesterol is either once again incorporated into LDL cholesterol for delivery to body cells or it is removed by body excretions through the digestive tract. Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry large amounts of cholesterol from the liver to all body cells and are considered undesirable, especially in high amounts.
Medical science dose not fully understand how lipoproteins do their job in the body. What is known is that high HDL levels with low levels of LDL are linked to lower risk of heart disease. High LDL levels and low HDL levels are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
If you have an established cholesterol problem or early heart disease, your doctor will probably check for other fatty substances called triglycerides. These common dietary fats also carry a risk factor for heart disease. To better control levels of these harmful fats, let nature take its true course.
Beneficial Bacteria To The Rescue
In the normal, healthy body, probiotic or 'pro-life' organisms live through the digestive tract. These lactobacillus and bifidobacteria live side by side with 600 species of microorganisms in the mouth and 400 species in the small and large intestines. Not only do these good flora promote food digestion, optimize nutrient absorption, and help process bile, lactobacillus bacteria also balance cholesterol levels in blood.
Recent medical studies at the Shinshu University in Japan find that Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can suppress the reabsorption in the liver of bile acids carrying cholesterol and improve the removal of cholesterol from blood through stool excretion. (Hosono 2000). In another study in Argentina, lactobacillus bacteria were found to lower total blood cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 33 percent (Taranto 1999).
A research report from Denmark published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that lactobacillus bacteria significantly lowered blood pressure in men and women 18 to 55 years of age after eight weeks of supplementation (Agerholm-Larsen 2000). Those in the control group not receiving lactobacillus bacteria had no reduction in their high blood pressure. Such scientific evidence provides valuable insight toward reducing the risk of unhealthy cholesterol levels associated with heart disease.
Replace Beneficial Flora
We are born with beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, but we lose significant amounts through stool excretion each day. Antibiotics, alcohol, caffeine, certain herbs, stress, and the aging process also reduce these good organisms in the body.
For this reason Dr. Frederic Vagnini, M.D. Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Wellness and Longevity Centers of New York says probiotic supplementation is a wise strategy for optimal cardiovascular health. Author of The New York Times best selling book, The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program (2000), Dr Vagnini says beneficial bacteria consumed on a regular basis help keep cholesterol levels within healthy ranges. Food absorption and liver functions improve. Also, probiotic supplements offer a safer way to clean up excess cholesterol without the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
How to Select A Probiotic
Heat destroys the power of a reliable beneficial bacteria product. Make certain the outlet you shop at addresses refrigeration matters of beneficial bacteria. To retain full potency and health benefits, store your probiotics at temperatures under 80 degrees. If you buy direct make sure the beneficial bacteria product is shipped in temperature controlled packages to insure full potency.
Some people think they can get enough beneficial bacteria from a soured milk product like kefir or yoghurt. But here again quality control is often lacking. These bacterial cultures may not be the proper beneficial strain of microorganism needed by your intestine.
When shopping, make certain the bacterial strains are listed on the bottle. These super strains have the greatest possibility in lowering blood cholesterol: Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS-1 and NAS super strains), Bifidobacteria bifidum (Malyoth super strain), and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (LB-51 super strain).
To save money, some manufacturers use cheese or soil bacteria cultures in place of the true probiotic strains that can provide real health benefits. While such products cost less, don't expect the same results. Buy a reliable brand of supplemental probiotics stating the super strains of the bacteria because the concentration will be stronger and the potency issue more fully addressed on bottle labels.
Also, do not accept vague potency claims with an asterisk (*) that read "potency guaranteed at the time of manufacture," "shipment," or "consumption." Be sure the probiotic supplement you buy guarantees 100 percent potency right up to the printed expiration date including the bacterial strain. If you so not give yourself the benefit of such quality in a beneficial bacteria supplement, you are wasting your money on a product that probably can not deliver the health results you want.
Change and Improve Your Lifestyle
Losing weight, cutting out "bad fat" choices, adding whole grains, fresh fruits, and lots of leafy green and yellow vegetables will also help get your HDL and LDL ratios within healthy ranges. Avoid oils processed at high heat levels and stay away from hydrogenated fats if you want to lower your triglyceride levels.
Introduce some mild, regular physical activity into your daily routine. Exercise such as brisk walking, bicycling, raking leaves, or gardening will help burn calories as well. Remember to increase your physical activity on a gradual basis. If you are over 50 or have any health problems consult your doctor first.
Speed up the cholesterol balancing process by adding supplemental beneficial bacteria to your daily diet. Combined with a change in diet, these friendly bacteria can help lower your total cholesterol and reduce amounts of the "bad" LDL cholesterol as plaque in your arteries. Then, you'll have a better chance to beat the odds against cardiovascular disease!
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics , Supplements and Skin Products are non-GMO and hypoallergenic (no dairy, soy, or gluten); contains all-natural ingredients; and is guaranteed free of Soil-based Organisms (SBOs). The probiotics are 100% vegetarian product and stable without refrigeration.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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