We’ve been taught that there are two basic types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is bad and HDL is good. True, to a degree.
LDL and HDL are more like transporters of cholesterol as opposed to cholesterol itself. Cholesterol is critical to several bodily and mental functions. Through the digestive and circulatory processes, LDL carries cholesterol out to cells. Little pieces of cholesterol break off of the LDL and are delivered to the cells. HDL carries the balance away from the arteries and back to the liver.
Problems begin when the unused LDL cholesterol doesn’t get picked up and transported back to the liver. As cholesterol gets chipped away from the LDL, it becomes smaller. If HDL doesn’t pick it up, it can become lodged in arterial walls and eventually cause blockages.
It appears that poor gut health, i.e. too many bad bacteria, could be one of the failure points in this process. Through a series of events, these bad bacteria cause the premature degradation of the LDL. They can also obstruct HDL from picking it up. The result is higher LDL levels in the bloodstream and greater risk of arterial blockages.
The consumption of probiotics may combat these bad bacteria by encouraging a healthy gut health environment, therefore preserving a healthy LDL/HDL cholesterol transportation system.
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