Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Lactobacillus Species

Curr Microbiol. 2020 Apr;77(4):638-644. doi: 10.1007/s00284-020-01903-w. Epub 2020 Feb 4.


Probiotics are the living and non-pathogenic microbial supplements which, upon administration in adequate quantities, influence the host organism positively by improving gut health and enhancing intestinal mucosal integrity. They suppress potentially pathogenic microorganisms by competing with them for nutrients as well as space for gut adherence. Lactobacillus species are the most commonly used bacteria in the probiotic preparations and studies show that they have cholesterol-lowering effects on the hosts. Lipids are biological molecules that are insoluble in water and bile salts play a major role in their digestion as they are synthesized and conjugated to taurine or glycine in the liver. Bile salt hydrolase deconjugates taurine or glycine from bile salts. Cholesterol metabolism is influenced by the effect of Lactobacillus species on microbial populations as well as overall metabolic activity of human intestinal microflora. Deconjugation of bile salt, concentration of short-chain fatty acids and molar proportion of propionate constitute the major processes by which cholesterol lowering is brought about by Lactobacillus species. This review summarizes the cholesterol-lowering properties of this species. A significant number of Lactobacillus strains have been known to display substantial bile salt hydrolase activities and identifying those strains for use in therapeutic purposes can be a great advancement. Here, this identification is done using phylogenetic relationship for different identified potential probiotic Lactobacillus strains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholesterol