Are Probiotics Good For Your Heart, Or Do They Cause Problems?

probioticA healthy heart is essential to your wellbeing and happiness. The key to maintaining cardiovascular wellness involves nutrition, regular exercise, and seven to nine hours of sleep daily. But there are also supplements, such as probiotics, you can take to support your heart health. 

What are Probiotics? 

According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, probiotics are defined as

“live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”

Good bacteria was identified around the turn of the century, and scientists have linked it to many internal functions, including gut, immune, and cardiovascular health. The most common probiotic you can eat is yogurt. It’s also found in fermented vegetables, including olives, sauerkraut, and pickles. However, not everyone eats the dairy product, and lactose-intolerant people may not be able to consume it regularly. 

A probiotic supplement containing no milk, eggs, and other common allergens, such as fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, and soybeans, may help maintain your heart health. Also, you won’t find probiotic levels on food labels. The supplement may be the better option for controlling your probiotic intact. 

Keep Your Cholesterol Levels in the Normal Range 

Some probiotics can help people that are already maintaining healthy total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL. It’s essential to keep your LDL low. The “bad cholesterol” is what causes plaque to form on your blood vessel walls, which can lead to dangerous and even deadly blockages.

If you’re already keeping these levels in the normal range, a probiotic may help you support this balance. But if you’re not in that range, you should speak with your doctor before starting any new supplements. 

Lower Blood Pressure with Probiotics

Scientists are still investigating the benefits and potential dangers of probiotics. But there is data available that’s promising. For example, some studies show that probiotics for heart health are effective

One research, Jennifer L. Pluznick, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains

“We know that there’s a symbiotic type of relationship between gut bacteria and their hosts—that’s us. Certain chemicals that the gut bacteria produce can alter blood pressure. We also know that when mice or rats, or people have high blood pressure, the bacteria in their guts are different. Those things each reveal a piece of the puzzle. But we don’t have enough pieces to put the entire puzzle together yet.”

Pluznick envisions a future where the medical field can issue more guidelines for people to understand and use daily probiotic supplements correctly. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

As mentioned, there are other factors involved in keeping your cardiovascular wellness. The two most important are nutrition and regular exercise. Together these help you maintain a healthy weight. In particular, a happy heart sees regular cardiovascular workouts. 

When you add a probiotic to help manage nutrition and exercise, it’s easier to keep your weight low. In return, it facilitates weight loss and works to keep your heart healthy. Multiple studies reference the combination of wellness support and cardiovascular wellness. 

Potential Probiotic Risks

The biggest concern that medical professionals have about probiotics is that they’re not regulated. Many substances aren’t safe for the heart or other body functions. To avoid these problems, it’s vital only to purchase supplements from a trusted brand. 

Choose a company that screens its products and supports their ingredients with science. There are many strains. Some work better than others, and mixing and matching the wrong ones can be dangerous. Always verify the processing meets all FDA standards.

Before adding any new over-the-counter supplements, including all-natural, organic products, to your wellness plan, consult your doctor. If you are under a physician’s care for other conditions or take regular prescriptions, it’s essential to first speak with your medical care team.  

For the best results, look for wellness sales items containing all non-GMO ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. 

To live your best life, you want to do everything within your power to maintain cardiovascular wellness. There are several ways to increase your probiotics naturally. But the easiest way to keep both your gut and heart-healthy is by taking a daily probiotic supplement.