Distinct Microbial Taxa Are Associated with LDL‐Cholesterol Reduction after 12 Weeks of Lactobacillus plantarum Intake in Mild Hypercholesterolemia

Results of a Randomized Controlled Study

authored by
Mattea Müller, Felix Kerlikowsky, Theresa Greupner, Lena Amend, Till Strowig, Andreas Hahn

Probiotic microbes such as Lactobacillus may reduce serum total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of Lactobacillus plantarum strains CECT7527, CECT7528, and CECT7529 (LP) on the serum lipids, cardiovascular parameters, and fecal gut microbiota composition in patients with mild hypercholesterolemia. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 86 healthy adult participants with untreated elevated LDL cholesterol ≥ 160 mg/dl was conducted. Participants were randomly allocated to either placebo or LP (1.2 × 109 CFU/d) for 12 weeks. LDL, HDL, TC, and triglycerides (TG), cardiovascular parameters (blood pressure, arterial stiffness), and fecal gut microbiota composition (16S rRNA gene sequencing) were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks. Both groups were comparable regarding age, sex, and LDL-C at baseline. LDL-C decreased (mean decrease − 6.6 mg/dl ± − 14.0 mg/dl, P time*group = 0.006) in the LP group but not in the placebo group. No effects were observed on HDL, TG, or cardiovascular parameters or overall gut microbiota composition. Responders to LP intervention (> 5% LDL-C reduction) were characterized by higher BMI, pronounced TC reduction, higher abundance of fecal Roseburia, and lower abundance of Oscillibacter. In conclusion, 12 weeks of L. plantarum intake moderately reduced LDL-C and TC as compared to placebo. LDL-C-lowering efficacy of L. plantarum strains may potentially be dependent on individual difference in the gut microbiota. Trial registration: DRKS00020384, dated 07/01/2020.

Nutrition Physiology and Human Nutrition Section
Institute of Food Science and Human Nutrition
External Organisation(s)
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Hannover Medical School (MHH)
Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins
Publication date
Publication status
E-pub ahead of print
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Molecular Biology
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-023-10191-2 (Access: Open)