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Keywords:

  • probiotic bacteria;
  • Lactobacillus plantarum;
  • cholesterol;
  • cardiovascular diseases

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Hypercholesterolaemia plays a key role in the development and progression of coronary artery disease. There are numerous drugs available to treat this condition but they are often expensive and can have unwanted side effects. Therefore, a screening of lactic acid bacteria to select candidate probiotic strains to reduce cholesterol levels was carried out. Three Lactobacillus plantarum strains (CECT 7527, 7528 and 7529) were selected as potential probiotics to reduce cholesterol levels after conducting several in vitro tests for demonstrating the functionalities of the strains according to international guidelines.

RESULTS

The three strains showed a high ability to survive under gastrointestinal tract conditions and to adhere to intestinal cells. Regarding lipid metabolism, the strains showed a great production of bile salt hydrolase, especially when combined. Moreover, the strains assimilated cholesterol directly from the medium. Part of the cholesterol present in the medium was removed via binding onto the bacterial cellular surface. Finally, the three strains, especially CECT 7529, produce large quantities of propionic and butyric acids.

CONCLUSION

Combined, these characteristics suggest that these strains could be excellent candidates for reducing high blood cholesterol levels. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry