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Cholesterol can be controlled with the help of bacteria


A recent study has revealed that the extent to which the bacteria living in the gut of human beings contribute to the blood cholesterol levels, Time reports.

The study was published in the journal Circulation Research.  The team was led by Jingyuan Fu from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.

Earlier studies on the subject have revealed that the formation of bacteria inside the gut can cause obesity and heart disease. However, the extent to which the bacteria can cause obesity and heart disease was not clear.

The study was conducted on around 894 people who supplied their fecal and blood samples for the study. The researchers genetically sequenced the microbial material to understand which bacterial populations live in the gut.

The research revealed 34 unique bacterial sequences that had an impact on the body mass index (BMI, a measure of height and weight) and blood lipid levels. The researchers then measured the differences among these groups of bacteria that influenced the BMI and lipid levels.

Since the research could pinpoint the percentage of the microbes that influence the metabolism, it may pave a new way to treating chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

 "We can intervene with bacterial populations in the future," said Fu, "because the microbiome can be targeted for treatment with probiotics or medicine."

However, she said that more research would be needed to better understand what function the various bacteria have.

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