Milwaukee, WI—Probiotics are synonymous with digestive health, but new data suggest we should take a closer look at their benefits for heart health.

A team from the Medical College of Wisconsin induced an intestinal imbalance of bacteria with antibiotics in rats. They were given a probiotic drink with Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (Goodbelly), which was said to decreased circulating leptin levels by 41%. This hormone is very high in many overweight people, and studies link high leptin levels to increased risk of heart disease. The probiotic drink also reduced heart attacks by 29% in the rats.

Additional information about this research can be found in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.