Cholesterol removal by some lactic acid bacteria that can be used as probiotic


Belma Aslim, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Arts, Gazi University, Teknikokullar, Ankara 06500, Turkey. Tel: + 90 312 2021184; fax: +90 312 2122279; email:


In the present study, the relationship between exopolysaccharide production and cholesterol removal rates of five strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus isolated from home-made yoghurt was studied. Test strains were selected according to their exopolysaccharide production capacity. Influence of different bile concentrations on cholesterol removal was investigated. It was confirmed that B3, ATCC 11842 and G11 strains which produce high amounts of exopolysaccharide (211, 200 and 159 mg/l, respectively) were able to remove more cholesterol from the medium compared to those that produce low amounts of exopolysaccharide (B2, A13). The highest cholesterol removal (31%) was observed by strain L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus B3, producing a high amount of exopolysaccharide, in 3 mg/ml bile concentration. Cholesterol removal by resting and dead cells was investigated and it was found to be 4%–14% and 3%–10%, respectively. Cholesterol removal by immobilized and free cells of the B3 strain was studied and it was determined that immobilized cells are more effective. Influence of cholesterol on exopolysaccharide production has also been tested and it was found that cholesterol increased the production of EPS. The results indicated that: (i) there is a correlation between cholesterol removal and EPS production; and (ii) L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus B3 is regarded as a suitable candidate probiotic and adjunct culture.