Long-term consumption of fermented dairy products over 6 months increases HDL cholesterol

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;56(9):843-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601399.


Objective: Assessment of the hypocholesterolaemic effect of yoghurt supplemented with Lactobacillus acidophilus 145 and Bifidobacterium longum 913 in women.

Design: The cross-over study consisted of three periods (7 weeks each): first period, control yoghurt for all 29 women; second period, probiotic yoghurt for 18 women, control yoghurt for 11 women; third period, the reverse of that in the second period.

Setting: Department of Nutritional Physiology, Institute of Nutritional Science, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.

Subjects: Twenty-nine healthy women, aged 19-56 y. Fifteen of these were normocholesterolaemic and 14 women were hypercholesterolaemic.

Intervention: Yoghurt (300 g) daily containing 3.5% fat and starter cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and L. lactis. Probiotic yoghurt was the control yoghurt enriched with L. acidophilus 145, B. longum 913 and 1% oligofructose (synbiotic).

Results: The mean serum concentration of total cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol was not influenced by the synbiotic (P>0.05). The HDL concentration increased significantly by 0.3 mmol/l (P=0.002). The ratio of LDL/HDL cholesterol decreased from 3.24 to 2.48 (P=0.001).

Conclusions: The long-term daily consumption of 300 g yoghurt over a period of 21 weeks (control and synbiotic) increased the serum concentration of HDL cholesterol and lead to the desired improvement of the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dairy Products*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / blood
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus / metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Yogurt


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Lipids