Encouraging new research from the Medical College of Wisconsin demonstrates that supplementing with probiotics may improve leptin production, controlling appetite and reduce the risk of heart disease. Specifically, researchers found that consuming probiotics support a healthy 10:1 ratio of good to bad bacteria in the body, which demonstrated the ability to assist in the battle against obesity and could possibly play an important role in reducing heart attack severity.
While these findings are new, and certainly warrant further study, researchers are optimistic of the relationship between probiotics, leptin and heart disease. Scientists hypothesise that probiotics limit the amount of harmful bacteria in the digestive system and bloodstream, regulating the amount of leptin produced. This regulation of harmful bacteria and manipulation of leptin appear to potentially minimize the damage to the heart during heart attack.
Promising Research For Obesity and Cardiovascular Health
These findings are significant on many fronts. Long known to support digestive and immune health, probiotics are now demonstrating the potential to be effective in supporting hormone production and cardiovascular health. Leptin, the powerful fat-burning hormone used in weight loss efforts to suppress appetite and prevent obesity, now appears to also have merit as a contributor to heart health. Doctors are hopeful that checking probiotic ratios might offer new insight as to the exact cause, or severity, of a heart attack.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria found in the digestive tract, as well as in several food and supplement sources. There are an estimated 100 trillion live bacteria in a normal digestive system. When the ratio of probiotics or good bacteria fall below 85%, doctors notice a significant increase in several health issues, including digestive issues, illnesses, weight gain, and now maybe even heart health.
Leptin, the powerful fat-burning hormone, plays an important role in sending messages between the brain and the body; these messages provide information about energy supply and signal whether or not the body needs more food. At times, the body develops a condition known as leptin resistance, a condition that prohibits the brain from recognizing the presence of leptin in the blood. The inability to recognize leptin in the blood results in the brain signaling for more leptin to be produced. This increase in leptin in the blood has been associated with an increase in appetite and correlated with increase weight gain; research is now indicating that it now may also contribute to significant cardiovascular issues.
Probiotic and Leptin Supplements
Fortunately, there are several foods and supplements that promote healthy levels of probiotics and leptin in the body; preventing health issues associated with digestive issues, impaired immune function and weight gain. When coupled with an effective fitness program, these foods and supplements provide the base for improved health, wellness and weight loss.
While probiotics are yet to be regulated by the FDA, many nutritionists recommend consuming between 20 and 250 billion live probiotic units each day, this is typically the amount found in a serving of yogurt, kefir, or a serving of a high-quality probiotic supplements.
While continued research on the relationship between probiotics, leptin and overall health is warranted; the findings released by the Medical College of Wisconsin offer a promising outlook on the natural treatment of several significant health issues now experienced by millions of people every day.
 Lam, Vy et al. “Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats.” The FASEB Journal 26.4 (2012): 1727-1735.