Gut Bacteria Break Down Colesterol, New Study Shows

Gut Bacteria Break Down Colesterol, New Study Shows
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According to the latest scientific reports, it looks like gut bacteria can break down cholesterol. Check out the latest details about this below.

Gut bacteria break down cholesterol

New research has highlighted the importance of certain species of healthy gut bacteria in regulating cholesterol levels. The study, published on April 2 in the scientific journal Cell, revealed that specific bacteria belonging to the genus Oscillibacter consume cholesterol.

The research also found that individuals with higher levels of Oscillibacter in their gut had lower levels of cholesterol. These findings were based on a long-term study known as the Framingham Heart Study, which examined more than 1,400 samples in an effort to reduce damage from cardiovascular disease.

Stool samples are often utilized to determine the microbial composition of the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is made up of various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The research team aimed to investigate the potential role of the gut in reducing the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, one in every five deaths (about 695,000 people) was due to cardiovascular disease.

Researchers collected a vast library of stool samples over several years. They then analyzed over 16,000 relationships between microbes and their metabolic traits.

The study revealed that high levels of Oscillibacter seem to protect against high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which can result in heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and blood clots.

Researchers conducted further tests to study metabolic pathways by growing bacteria. The results revealed that bacteria converted cholesterol into other products before being broken down by other bacteria and excreted.

The researchers used machine learning to determine that Oscillibacter was responsible for creating that biochemical conversion, according to a news release published by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Also, researchers found that Eubacterium coprostanoligenes, a bacterial species previously discovered to contribute to lowering cholesterol, may have a synergistic effect with Oscillibacter in metabolizing cholesterol.

“Our research integrates findings from human subjects with experimental validation to ensure we achieve actionable mechanistic insight that will serve as starting points to improve cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Ramnik Xavier, co-director of the infectious disease and microbiome program at Broad, in the news release.


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Rada Mateescu

Passionate about freedom, truth, humanity, and subjects from the science and health-related areas, Rada has been blogging for about ten years, and at Health Thoroughfare, she's covering the latest news on these niches.

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