"Our study provides new evidence that microbes in the gut are strongly linked to the blood level of HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides and may be added as a new risk factor for abnormal blood lipids, in addition to age, gender, BMI and genetics," said Jingyuan Fu, Ph.D., study lead author and associate professor of genetics at University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
Using state-of-the-art deep sequencing technology, researchers studied the association between gut microbes and blood lipid levels in 893 people in the Netherlands. They identified:
- 34 different types of bacteria contributed to differences in body fat (BMI) and blood lipids such as triglycerides and the good cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL. Most were new associations.
- Bacteria in the gut contributed to 4.6 percent of the difference in body fat, 6 percent in triglycerides and 4 percent in HDL.
- Surprisingly, gut bacteria had little relationship with bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDL ) or total cholesterol levels.
I think that's pretty cool. Sort of exactly as we have been saying around here lately. What can we do to tip the odds in our favor that we can capitalize on these helpful little beasts?
- Eat lots of fiber
- Eat lots of fermented foods
- Eat less processed and more whole foods
- Reduce stress
- Sleep well
- Give up bad habits
- Wean yourself off of medications where possible
- Don't live an overly sterile life