Effects of Lactobacillus supplementation on glycemic and lipid indices in overweight or obese adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Nutr. 2022 Aug;41(8):1787-1797. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.06.030. Epub 2022 Jun 30.


Background & aims: Recent evidence suggests that gut microbiota may represent an important factor to affect the development of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Although several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have explored the ability of Lactobacillus to improve metabolic parameters in adults who are overweight or obese, their findings have been inconsistent and require further analysis. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the ability of Lactobacillus supplementation to improve glycemic control, the lipid profile, and blood pressure in adults who are overweight or obese.

Methods: Seven electronic databases and two trial registers were searched up to April 2022 to identify eligible RCTs evaluating the effects of Lactobacillus supplementation in overweight or obese adults. Mean differences (MDs) or standardized mean differences were pooled using a random-effects model.

Results: Nine eligible RCTs with 598 participants were included. We found that Lactobacillus supplementation significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (MD -5.27 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval [CI] -8.28, -2.25; P = 0.0006) and total cholesterol (MD -4.84 mg/dL; 95% CI -8.29, -1.39; P = 0.006), particularly when taken in capsule, powder, or tablet form, for 12 weeks, as ≥1 × 1010 colony forming units/day, or as part of a normal diet. Benefits of Lactobacillus on fasting plasma glucose were seen after 12 weeks of supplementation (MD -1.81 mg/dL; 95% CI -3.08, -0.54; P = 0.005) and on triglycerides when taking a normal diet (MD -14.14 mg/dL; 95% CI -24.38, -3.91; P = 0.007). Lactobacillus had only a short-term beneficial effect on fasting plasma insulin and blood pressure and no significant beneficial effect on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Conclusions: Lactobacillus supplementation has a beneficial effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol in adults who are overweight or obese, and also on fasting plasma glucose and triglycerides under certain conditions. Therefore, Lactobacillus supplementation represents a promising approach in the management of obesity-related diseases.

Keywords: Glycemic control; Lactobacillus; Lipid profile; Meta-analysis; Obesity; Overweight.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose* / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight* / therapy
  • Triglycerides


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.19583326