We have never been more connected to our health. Whether looking up our pulse rates on the latest wearable tech, recording our sugar intake or tracking calories on an app, our fundamental links to wellness have never been closer. One key aspect of holistic health is monitoring cholesterol to ensure long-term heart health. Having high cholesterol levels in the blood can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, increasing the risk of developing circulatory and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
Thankfully, there are a number of contemporary solutions that can help keep cholesterol levels in check, including implementing lifestyle changes, taking a specifically tailored supplement, and of course, using traditional pharmaceutical approaches such as statins. The general concern with statin drugs is the range of adverse side-effects that often come with taking them, including muscle and joint pain, as well as indigestion. Additionally, lifestyle changes also take time to deliver benefits and many people find sustained use to be complex or impractical.
Recent research is revealing the extent of the impact of intestinal health on overall wellness, especially where the heart is concerned. The microbes in our gut play an important role in the management of lipid absorption and deposition – the fat-like substances found in the blood and body tissues. The liver produces cholesterol, which in turn is needed to produce bile salts (to aid digestion). Specific microbes have the capability to break down these bile salts in the intestine once they have completed their role of aiding digestion. As the bile salts are not being reabsorbed by the intestine, they are subsequently not recycled. When this happens, the liver needs to replenish the lost bile salts by synthesising more bile achieved by pulling cholesterol from the existing supply in the blood, therefore decreasing the cholesterol pool.
For the nutraceutical industry, this is generating a rapidly growing interest in the development of gut-health supplement solutions for supporting cardiovascular wellbeing, with probiotics playing a key role. But what does this mean for traditional approaches to heart health such as statins – and what can probiotic supplements offer?
Statin drugs are prescribed for people who already have high levels of cholesterol. They work by slowing down the production of LDL-cholesterol in the liver. Statins often work very well, with the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol by around 30%, fight inflammation and reduce the risk of narrowed arteries.
Like all medicines, statins can cause side effects, creating debate about how many patients should be prescribed them. Recent research has revealed around half of patients who are prescribed statins do not see their cholesterol drop to desired levels within two years. Despite this, cardiologists still commend the drugs, stating they work better than other cholesterol treatments. Reports on side effects may be at the root of much controversy surrounding statins, which can lead to uncertainty about the benefits of the drug.
Natural, holistic remedies have been studied for their potential effect on cholesterol levels for a long time. Probiotics, in combination with other dietary ingredients especially, have been shown to impact total cholesterol levels. Specific probiotic strains have shown great benefits to human health, enabling the nutraceutical industry to develop applications which encourage gut microbial diversity, restore gut balance and importantly, manage and improve overall heart health.
OptiBiotix, for example, has used pharmaceutical screening platforms to identify how probiotics work and develop science-backed products with health benefits proven in independent clinical studies. The company has developed CholBiome®, a range of cholesterol management supplements which contain next-generation probiotic LPLDL ®. A true breakthrough in innovative health product development, LPLDL demonstrates the capacity to boost heart wellness as it increases the breakdown of bile salts in the intestine. With fewer bile salts being recycled, the liver has to produce more salts from cholesterol, meaning there is less cholesterol in circulation having been synthesised into bile salts. The share of cholesterol pulled from the blood is the cholesterol decrease we see with LPLDL as found within CholBiome.
CholBiome and CholBiomeX3 have been designed to help maintain a healthy heart by reducing the number of cardiovascular risk factors. Whilst CholBiomeX3 works through three mechanisms to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and promote heart wellness, CholBiome supports the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels either as preventative or following the use of CholBiomeX3.
These revolutionary products are all supported by key opinion leaders in the microbiome science field. Not only this, OptiBiotix has a combined background of scientific evidence and peer-reviewed human studies behind the company to prove its unique products deliver real health benefits through science, naturally.
To find out how the CholBiome range can transform your cardiovascular health or to browse our full range of health solutions click here.