Beneficial effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on glycemia and homocysteine levels in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome

Nutrition. Jul-Aug 2014;30(7-8):939-42. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.12.004. Epub 2013 Dec 14.


Objective: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) in postmenopausal women is an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity, especially stroke and coronary heart disease and mortality. Preventing and treating MetS would be useful in preventing disability and promoting normal aging. Previous human studies have found some beneficial effects of Lactobacillus species on some isolated parameters of MetS. Nevertheless, we are not aware, to date, of any study which has verified the influence of probiotics in patients with MetS. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of fermented milk with L. plantarum in the classical parameters related to MetS, as well as in other parameters related to cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Twenty-four individuals were paired by age, ethnicity, and body mass index in two groups: Non-fermented milk (NFM = 12) 80 mL/d and fermented milk (FM = 12) 80 mL/d. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements, biochemical, inflammatory, and immunologic biomarkers were measured.

Results: Total cholesterol and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase had a significant reduction both in NFM (P = 0.043 and P = 0.036, respectively) and FM groups (P = 0.010 and P = 0.018, respectively) after 90 d, whereas low-density lipoprotein cholesterol showed a significant reduction in NFM group (P = 0.002) and trend in the FM group (P = 0.092). Glucose and homocysteine levels showed a significant reduction in the FM group compared with the NFM group (P = 0.037 and P = 0.019, respectively). In relation to inflammatory biomarkers, there was a significant decrease in interleukin-6 both in NFM (P = 0.032) and in FM (P = 0.001) groups.

Conclusion: FM with L. plantarum showed more favorable results than NFM in relation to cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women with MetS.

Keywords: Cytokines; Homocysteine; Lactobacillus plantarum; Metabolic syndrome; Probiotics.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lactobacillus plantarum*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Postmenopause*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Interleukin-6
  • Homocysteine