A new Korean study suggests that adding kimchi to your daily diet could help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
In a new study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food
, subjects who ate the fermented cabbage dish daily saw drops in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (or "bad" cholesterol), and fasting blood glucose levels after just one week.
Researchers from Pusan National University in Korea recruited 100 young men for the study. Subjects who ate a huge amount of kimchi (about half a pound) daily saw much greater drops in cholesterol levels than those who ate a small amount, just a half an ounce, every day for a week.
Still, both groups saw benefits, and subjects who had the highest total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels had the largest dips in those readings in both groups.
Kimchi is also touted for being chock full of not only vitamins A, B, and C, but also Lactobacillus, a healthy bacteria known as a probiotic, to aid digestion.
Previous research has found a link between daily doses of probiotics, including Lactobacillus, and reduced cholesterol. In a study presented last year at the American Heart Association's Scientific Session, a study of 127 adults found that daily doses of the probiotic L. reuteri resulted in lower LDL cholesterol levels after nine weeks.
According to the New York Times, some researchers believe that probiotics can bind to cholesterol in the small intestine, thereby preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, research is mixed, the New York Times warns, with studies yielding positive findings, including the one last year, tending to be the ones funded by the makers of probiotic supplements.