Research appearing in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (2015 Mar;9(3):KC01-4. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2015/11867.5728. Epub 2015 Mar 1) looked at probiotic supplementation in patients with high cholesterol. The 70 subjects were given either a placebo or a supplement containing Lactobacillus acidophilus plus Bifidobacterium bifidum three time per day for six weeks.

A randomized double-blind controlled trial was conducted comparing placebo to Lactobacillus acidophilus plus Bifidobacterium bifidum in patients diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia. Placebo or probiotic capsules were taken three times daily for six weeks. At the start and at the beginning of the study total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels were taken. Demographic parameters of the two groups were compared. From a total of 70 participants, 64 completed the assigned treatment (31 in probiotics group and 33 in the control group).The two treatment groups were matched for age, sex, weight, height, BMI, waist and hip circumferences, and blood pressure.

Total cholesterol and LDL levels increased in the control group at the end of the six weeks. Total cholesterol, LDL and HDL all decreased in the group given the probiotics. Researchers concluded, ” A combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum decreased serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients over a six week period. There was no effect on serum triglyceride or fasting blood glucose levels.”