Probiotics help the heart and blood vessels. The probiotic bacteria we have in our gut directly relate to the health of our blood vessels and heart. Our best health means maintaining a flourishing “inner garden” of microbes in our entire digestive tract from top to bottom. This is done by taking in the beneficial live organisms which occur in many foods, especially fermented ones such as sauerkraut, kefir and brine-cured olives. These beneficial organisms are contained in several Asian foods not commonly included in the western diet including kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, and kombucha. More conveniently they are concentrated in probiotic capsules. Our oral organisms are also critical in this process and can be maintained while using certain types of toothpaste and mouthwash.
Ingesting prebiotics improves the scaffolding on our inner garden thrives. Bananas, asparagus, onions, and apples are good sources. Prebiotic fiber supplements help conveniently achieve this goal.
We noted the following excellent review of the recent science on this important factor in our health:
Komaroff AL. The Microbiome and Risk of Atherosclerosis. JAMA. 2018;319(23):2381-2382.