Effect of 8 week intake of probiotic milk products on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;54(4):288-97. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600937.


Objective: To investigate the effect of a probiotic milk product containing the culture CAUSIDO(R) and of two alternative products on risk factors for cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese subjects.

Design: An 8 week randomized, double-blind, placebo- and compliance-controlled, parallel study.

Subjects: Seventy healthy, weight-stable, overweight and obese (25.0<BMI<37.5 kg/m2) males (n=20) and females (n=50), 18-55 y old, were randomly assigned into five groups.

Intervention: Four groups consumed 450 ml fermented milk products (yoghurt) daily. Group 1: a yoghurt fermented with two strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and two strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus (StLa). Group 2: a placebo yoghurt fermented with delta-acid-lactone (PY). Group 3: a yoghurt fermented with two strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and one strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (StLr). Group 4: a yoghurt fermented with one strain of Enterococcus faecium and two strains of Streptococcus thermophilus (CAUSIDO(R) culture), GAIO(R) (G). The dietary composition of the yoghurt was otherwise similar. The fifth group was given two placebo pills (PP) daily.

Results: When comparing all five treatment groups, unadjusted for changes in body weight, no statistical effects were observed in week 8 in the G-group on low density lipoproteins (LDL)-cholesterol (P=0.29). After adjustment for small changes in body weight, LDL-cholesterol decreased by 8.4% (0.26+/-0.10 mmol/l; P<0.05) and fibrinogen increased (0.74+/-0.32 mmol/l; P<0.05) after 8 weeks in the G-group. This was significantly different from the group consuming chemically fermented yoghurt and the group consuming placebo pills (P<0.05). After 8 weeks, systolic blood pressure was significantly more reduced in the StLa and G-group compared to StLr. No other differences were found.

Conclusion: The CAUSIDO(R) culture reduced LDL-cholesterol and increased fibrinogen in the overweight subjects at a 450 ml consumption daily for 8 weeks. The effect on LDL-cholesterol confirms previous studies. An immunostimulation by one of the strains in the product might explain the effect on fibrinogen in the G-group.

Sponsorship: MD Foods A/S, Denmark.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / adverse effects
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Yogurt


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fibrinogen