One of my good friends told me her cholesterol had gone up since drinking kefir, and then she said, “That’s my good cholesterol! It went through the roof and my doctor is very pleased.” I got a few emails this week from people expressing to me that since they’ve been consuming kefir and cultured vegetables their blood cholesterol numbers normalized and other problems improved as well. This is not an unusual occurrence. I’ve heard from friends and family and people who email me, or post on my Facebook page, that cultured foods have helped their cholesterol. Those microbes in our bodies can help us with all manner of problems – and cholesterol is no exception.
How Bacteria Can Help Us With Cholesterol
One reason probiotic foods help to lower cholesterol is because bacteria consume prebiotic (soluble) fiber in the small intestines and create short chain fatty acids, one of which is called proprionic acid. This particular acid reduces production of cholesterol by the liver.
Another way probiotics bring down cholesterol levels is that as bacteria grow in the intestinal tract, they consume some of the cholesterol that is present, incorporating it into their own cells. This means the cholesterol becomes unavailable for absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream, naturally lowering total cholesterol.
Studies Done on Kefir and Cholesterol
Kefir is a powerful probiotic food that has more than 50 good bacteria and good yeasts. More and more studies are coming out showing the power of my favorite cultured food. I've been consuming kefir daily since 2001, and I have witnessed firsthand these effects: lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and so much more.
The Kefir Study
The Journal of PharmaNutrition published a study conducted by pharmaceutical and physiology researchers at the University Vila Velha and the Federal University of Espirito Santo, both in Brazil, on the effects of consuming kefir (made with kefir grains) for 12 weeks.  The researchers examined data from 48 patients who had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which is a simultaneously occurring condition that increases an individual's risk of heart disease. These issues may include high cholesterol, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure, or other ailments.
The researchers divided the 48 participants into two groups for 12 weeks. One group drank milk kefir daily while the control group received a placebo drink. Neither group knew which one they were receiving.
The participants who drank kefir saw decreased blood pressure, lower fasting blood sugar, decreased levels of bad cholesterol, and, for female participants, increased levels of good cholesterol. The study authors wrote, "Kefir also reduced the risk of cardiovascular events for the next ten years based on the study reducing oxLDL and the risk of developing cardiovascular events in the next ten years." The risk of cardiovascular events for the next ten years was calculated through the Framingham Score method.
The effect of kefir consumption on the lipid profile
In 2022, a randomized controlled trial was done by Baskent University, Department of Gastronomy in Ankara, Turkey, to investigate the effect of kefir consumption on the lipid profile of individuals with normal and dyslipidemic properties. The study was carried out with 23 volunteer hospital health personnel between the ages of 20 and 55. The volunteers regularly consumed kefir on an empty stomach for four weeks.
In the 4-week period they consumed kefir, Total Cholesterol values decreased by 9.15% compared to initial values, LDL-Cholesterol values decreased by 10.64%, HDL-Cholesterol values decreased by 6.9%, and triglyceride values decreased by 2.46%, with a 5.71% decrease in total cholesterol compared to initial values. They concluded that regular kefir consumption was effective in both women and men in lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol from blood lipid profiles, while this effect was not observed in normal individuals not consuming kefir. 
Cholesterol changes with kefir among females with obesity
A 2017 study investigated changes in cholesterol levels among overweight or obese females who drank low-fat milk or kefir. The participants drank either two servings a day of low fat milk, or four servings a day of low fat milk and kefir.
After 8 weeks, those who drank kefir showed significant decreases in their total cholesterol levels, and in their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, compared to those who drank only two servings per day of low fat milk. 
Destroying Viruses And Even Possible Cancer Cells
Our bodies are constantly renewing themselves each and every day. They are destroying viruses and even possible cancer cells all day, every day, while you are going about your day. Everything goes along pretty well until you overburden your body with toxins and foods that pollute your body and overwhelm its ability to keep you well. If we overindulge in all manner of food and drink that bring stress and overwhelm the body, it creates disease. So I am going to try to change you by giving you some healthier alternatives to help your body and your taste buds stay healthy and happy and then let the microbes go to work keeping you healthy.
Lactobacillus Species in Kefir
The Species Lactobacillus seems to be the microbe that really helps with cholesterol. Kefir has many Lactobacillus species.
Lb. brevis [Possibly now Lb. kefiri]
Lb. casei subsp. casei
Lb. casei subsp. rhamnosus
Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
Lb. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
Lb. delbrueckii subsp. lactis
Lb. helveticus subsp. lactis
Lb. kefiranofaciens subsp. kefirgranum
Lb. kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
A Powerful Thing - a Kefir Smoothie
It's kind of a powerful thing - a kefir smoothie. It starts your day off by flooding it with lots of healthy bacteria. Then, no matter what you do that day, at least that morning you did the right thing. Your cells were flooded with nutrients. Kefir is anti-inflammatory and loaded with enzymes, probiotics, and vitamins. It's predigested and speeds to the parts of the body that are calling for the nutrients it provides. If you are just getting started, check out my "Get Better Kefir Smoothie". It's really helping so many people feel better. It helps to reset the microbiome all the while building lots of good bacteria that can do their job keeping you healthy. Little by little that kefir smoothie will start showing you the power it holds. It starts off my mornings and sends me soaring each day. Being healthy is pretty awesome.
Listen To My Podcast
Kefir is a great fermented drink that can help with lowering cholesterol. More and more studies are finding its effectiveness in helping with cholesterol, blood pressure, heart health and so much more. Tune in to learn more about this powerful fermented food.
- L. Jones et al., “Cholesterol-lowering Efficacy of a Microencapsulated Bile Salt Hydrolase-active Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242 Yoghurt Formulation in Hypercholesterolaemic Adults,” British Journal of Nutrition 107, no. 10 (May 2012): 1505-13:
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