Can prebiotics lower cholesterol levels?


Some studies have shown that prebiotics could be used as an alternative to normal supplements to exert health benefits, including cholesterol-lowering effects on humans (Ooi & Liong, 2010). Another study demonstrated that a combination of soy and prebiotics significantly decreased total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (Larkin et al., 2009).

Prebiotic fibers selectively stimulate the growth or activities, or both, of lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. Lactobacillus positively correlated with the liver’s total cholesterol and serum triglyceride (Parnell & Reimer, 2006). The addition of high-performance inulin to a moderately high-carbohydrate low-fat diet has a beneficial effect on plasma lipids by decreasing hepatic lipogenesis and plasma triacylglycerol concentrations. These results support the use of nondigestible carbohydrates in reducing risk factors for atherosclerosis (Letexier et al., 2003).



Larkin, T. A., Astheimer, L. B. & Price, W. E. (2009). Dietary combination of soy with a probiotic or prebiotic food significantly reduces total and LDL cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63 (2), 238-245.

Letexier, D., Diraison, F. & Beylot, M. (2003). Addition of inulin to a moderately high-carbohydrate diet reduces hepatic lipogenesis and plasma triacylglycerol concentrations in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77(3), 559-564.

Ooi, L. G. & Liong, M. T. (2010). Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics: A Review of in Vivo and in Vitro Findings. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 11(6), 2499-2522.

Parnell, J. A. & Reimer, R. (2006). Prebiotic Fiber Improves Satiety Hormone and Cholesterol Profiles in an Obese Rat Model. FASEB Journal, 20(5).

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