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American Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 251 - 265

Effects of Probiotics on Lipid Profile: A Review

Aziz Homayouni, Laleh Payahoo and Aslan Azizi    

Abstract: Probiotics are live microorganisms which when consumed in enough amounts exert health effects on the host. Several animal and human studies showed that probiotics have beneficial effects in prevention and treatment of some diseases. In addition to improving gut health, immunity and protection against harmful microorganisms, antihypertensive and antioxidative effects, anticarcinogenic properties and prevention of cancer, improving of arthritis, reduction of dermatitis and allergic symptoms, prevention against gastrointestinal disease, dental carries, osteoporosis and obesity, probiotics have also been studied for their cholesterol-lowering effects. The purpose of this study was to review recent researches into the lipid profile improving effect of probiotics in animal and human studies and brief explanation about functional probiotic foods. Probiotics can be found in dairy and non-dairy products. It has been shown that, probiotics exert lowering lipid profile through several mechanisms such as deconjugate bile acids through bile salt hydrolase catalysis, take up and assimilate cholesterol for stabilization of their cell membrane and binding cholesterol to cell walls of probiotics in intestine, conversion of cholesterol into coprostanol, inhibit hepatic cholesterol synthesis by short chain fatty acids such as propionate produced by probiotic bacteria and/or redistribution of cholesterol from plasma to the liver. Certain strains of probiotics have demonstrated cholesterol lowering properties while others did not. However, not all trials have yielded conclusive results. Thus, more properly designed in vivo trials may appear additional understanding to eliminate the controversies, to better understand the underlying mechanisms and for safety assessment prior to consumption.

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