Characterisation of Lactobacillus fermentum SM-7 isolated from koumiss, a potential probiotic bacterium with cholesterol-lowering effects

J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Feb;91(3):512-8. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4214. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


Background: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been demonstrated to have cholesterol-reducing effects in many studies.

Results: Lactobacillus fermentum SM-7 screened from ten LAB strains isolated from koumiss, a fermented milk drink, reduced cholesterol by 66.8%. It also showed acid and bile tolerance as well as antimicrobial activity against pathogenic Escherchia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Lactobacillus fermentum SM-7 cells assimilated 61.5% and co-precipitated and absorbed 38.5% of the cholesterol in the media. Co-precipitation of cholesterol with cholic acid increased rapidly at pH levels below 6. In vivo experiments using L. fermentum SM-7 on artificially induced hyperlipidaemial ICR mice significantly decreased serum total cholesterol and total triglyceride levels, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and atherogenic index (P < 0.01), while serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations did not increase significantly (P > 0.05). The body weight and liver weight/body weight ratio of SM-7 groups were lower than those of mice on a high-cholesterol diet that were not given lactobacilli. There was no bacterial translocation in the liver, spleen or kidney of experimental mice.

Conclusion: The results suggested that L. fermentum SM-7 is a potential probiotic bacterium with cholesterol-lowering effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Bacterial Translocation
  • Bile
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholic Acid / chemistry
  • Cultured Milk Products / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Limosilactobacillus fermentum* / isolation & purification
  • Limosilactobacillus fermentum* / physiology
  • Liver / anatomy & histology
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Organ Size
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Cholic Acid