The anti-cholesterolaemic effect of a consortium of probiotics: An acute study in C57BL/6J mice

Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 6;7(1):2883. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02889-5.


Hypercholesterolaemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it has been found that some probiotic bacteria possess cholesterol-lowering capabilities. In this study, the ability of the Lab4 probiotic consortium to hydrolyse bile salts, assimilate cholesterol and regulate cholesterol transport by polarised Caco-2 enterocytes was demonstrated. Furthermore, in wild-type C57BL/6J mice fed a high fat diet, 2-weeks supplementation with Lab4 probiotic consortium plus Lactobacillus plantarum CUL66 resulted in significant reductions in plasma total cholesterol levels and suppression of diet-induced weight gain. No changes in plasma levels of very low-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, cytokines or bile acids were observed. Increased amounts of total and unconjugated bile acids in the faeces of the probiotic-fed mice, together with modulation of hepatic small heterodimer partner and cholesterol-7α-hydroxylase mRNA expression, implicates bile salt hydrolase activity as a potential mechanism of action. In summary, this study demonstrates the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of short-term feeding of the Lab4 probiotic consortium plus L. plantarum CUL66 in wild-type mice and supports further assessment in human trials.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / blood
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbial Consortia / drug effects*
  • Probiotics*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cytokines
  • Lipids
  • Cholesterol