Potential of probiotics in hypercholesterolemia: A meta-analysis

Indian J Public Health. 2016 Oct-Dec;60(4):280-286. doi: 10.4103/0019-557X.195859.


Human studies on the effects of probiotics on lowering blood cholesterol levels have not yielded conclusive results. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of probiotics on lipid profile was conducted. Articles were reviewed systematically from web search bases; PubMed, Cochrane Clinical Trial Registry. Those studies which were meeting the inclusion criteria-providing matching placebo, at least single blind for probiotics and placebo, providing mean and standard deviations and not involving the use of probiotics were selected. 14 studies from 12 randomized controlled trials were analyzed providing information of 606 normo/hypercholesterolemic patients using Review Manager 5.3 (The Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK). The pooled mean net change for total cholesterol (TC) is -8.40 mg/dl (-13.63, -3.61), for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is -6.63 mg/dl (-10.63, -2.63), for high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol is 0.59 mg/dl (-0.92, 2.09), and for triglycerides is -1.32 mg/dl (-6.49, 3.85). The findings of the analysis conclude that probiotics supplementation does lower serum TC and LDL-cholesterol levels significantly and hence a reduction in the risk factor of developing coronary heart disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia* / drug therapy
  • India
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Cholesterol, LDL