Caister Academic Press

Cholesterol-lowering Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Min-Tze Liong, Byong-H. Lee, Sy-Bing Choi, Lee-Ching Lew, Amy-Sie-Yik Lau and Eric Banan-Mwine Daliri
from: Probiotics and Prebiotics: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Koen Venema and Ana Paula do Carmo). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 429-446.


Recently, the use of probiotics and prebiotics as a cholesterol lowering agent has become increasingly popular. This chapter will highlight some of the in vitro and in vivo evidence showing the potential of probiotics and prebiotics in improving serum lipid profile. Data revealing details at molecular levels has also been included in this chapter. The proposed mechanisms for cholesterol removal by probiotics include assimilation of cholesterol by growing cells, binding of cholesterol to cellular surface and incorporation into the cellular membrane, deconjugation of bile via bile salt hydrolase, coprecipitation of cholesterol with deconjugated bile and production of short-chain fatty acids from oligosaccharides. In this chapter, we have highlighted on a few more selected cholesterol lowering mechanisms that are feasible and supported by in-depth evidence. Although cholesterol lowering abilities of probiotics has been extensively reported; recently, controversies have risen attributed to the activities of deconjugated bile acids that repress the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol. Using a molecular docking approach, we have demonstrated that deconjugated bile acids have higher binding affinity towards some orphan nuclear receptors namely the farsenoid X receptor (FXR), leading to a suppressed transcription of the enzyme cholesterol 7-alpha hydroxylase (7AH), which is responsible for bile acid synthesis from cholesterol. Possible detrimental effects due to increased deconjugation of bile salts such as malabsorption of lipids, colon carcinogenesis, gallstones formation and altered gut microbial populations, which contribute to other varying gut diseases, are also included in this chapter. The effects of probiotics and prebiotics on other cholesterol-related disorders such as formation of abnormal erythrocytes are also discussed in this chapter. As described in the past studies, hypercholesterolemia could induce alterations in the human erythrocyte plasma membrane. Administration of probiotics and prebiotics has improved erythrocyte membrane fluidity, decreased membrane rigidity and altered membrane lipid profiles. Probiotics and prebiotics is a new feasible approach to use natural interventions for cholesterol management read more ...
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