Actimel is a probiotic yogurt drink that claims to help boost the immune system and improve gut health. However, there is also some speculation that Actimel can help lower cholesterol levels. In this blog post, we will explore whether or not there is any truth to this claim.
What is cholesterol and why is it important?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. It is produced naturally by the liver and is also found in certain foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Cholesterol is important for the body as it plays a vital role in the production of hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids, which help in the digestion of fats.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol as it helps to remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transport it back to the liver for disposal.
The role of cholesterol in the body is critical, but it must be kept at appropriate levels. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries and restricts blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy cholesterol levels by consuming a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
What does Actimel do and how does it work?
Actimel is a probiotic yogurt drink that contains a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001. This probiotic strain has been shown to have a variety of potential health benefits, including improving gut health, boosting the immune system, and reducing IBS symptoms.
The Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 strain in Actimel works by colonizing the gut and interacting with the resident microbiota. It can help to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting a healthier gut environment.
Additionally, Actimel’s probiotics can help to stimulate the immune system, which may help to prevent infections and improve overall health.
Can Actimel lower cholesterol?
It is important to note that the strain found in Actimel, Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001, has not been studied as extensively in relation to its cholesterol-lowering effects as some other strains. While it is possible that Actimel may have cholesterol-lowering effects due to the probiotics it contains, more research is needed to confirm this.
The probiotic strains that have been shown to have significant cholesterol-lowering effects include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Bifidobacterium lactis. These strains work by different mechanisms, including reducing cholesterol absorption in the gut, increasing bile acid excretion, and modulating liver enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis.
Probiotics and cholesterol
Probiotics or so-called “good bacteria” have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, such as improving immune function, reducing inflammation, improving mental health, and treating constipation. When it comes to cholesterol, several studies have investigated the relationship between probiotics and cholesterol, with mixed results.
For example, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in 2018 analyzed the effects of probiotics on blood lipid levels, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. The analysis included 32 studies with a total of 1,971 participants. The researchers found that probiotics had a statistically significant effect on reducing total cholesterol compared to the control group.
While the results of this meta-analysis are promising, it is important to note that not all probiotic strains have been shown to have cholesterol-lowering effects. The strain, dose, and duration of probiotic consumption may also play a role in their cholesterol-lowering effects. The strains which had the most impact on cholesterol include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, VSL#3 and Lactobacillus plantarum.
Additionally, the exact mechanisms by which probiotics may lower cholesterol levels are still being investigated. Some studies suggest that probiotics may reduce cholesterol absorption in the gut, increase bile acid excretion, or modulate liver enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis.
In conclusion, Actimel is a probiotic yogurt drink that has potential health benefits such as improving gut health and boosting the immune system. While some speculation suggests that Actimel may help lower cholesterol levels, the strain found in Actimel, Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001, has not been studied as extensively for its cholesterol-lowering effects as some other strains.
Probiotics have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, including potential cholesterol-lowering effects. However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of specific probiotic strains, doses, and durations in lowering cholesterol levels and the exact mechanisms involved.
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption remains crucial for reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.