Aims: Human clinical studies have yielded mixed results on the effects of consumption of probiotics on the plasma lipid profile. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials that evaluated the effects of probiotics consumption on blood lipids.
Data synthesis: A systematic literature search of Embase, Web of Science, PubMed and Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry was conducted for studies that investigated the efficacy of probiotics on the plasma lipid profile of subjects. With the help of Review Manager 4.2, data from 13 trials, which included 485 participants with high, borderline high and normal cholesterol levels, were examined. The pooled mean net change in total cholesterol for those treated with probiotics compared to controls was -6.40 mg dl(-1) (95% confidence interval (CI), -9.93 to -2.87), mean net change in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was -4.90 mg dl(-1) (95% CI, -7.91 to -1.90), mean net change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was -0.11 mg dl(-1) (95% CI, -1.90-1.69) and mean net change in triglycerides was -3.95 mg dl(-1) (95% CI, -10.32-2.42).
Conclusion: These results indicate that a diet rich in probiotics decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol concentration in plasma for participants with high, borderline high and normal cholesterol levels.
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