Probiotic plus aloe shows cholesterol-lowering potential: Animal data

By Stephen DANIELLS

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Probiotic plus aloe shows cholesterol-lowering potential: Animal data
Combining probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplements with aloe vera may slash cholesterol levels by over 40%, suggests a new study with lab rats.

The combination was also associated with similar significant reductions in triacylglycerol levels, and a 12% increase in HDL cholesterol levels, according to findings published in Nutrition​.

“An optimized blend of the probiotic LGG and aloe vera gel could be exploited as a potential biotherapeutic remedy to decrease cholesterol levels and lower the risk of CVD, although the field is open for further studies,”​ wrote researchers led by Manoj Kumar, PhD, from India’s National Institute of Nutrition.

High cholesterol levels, hypercholesterolemia, have a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), the cause of almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe and the US.

A recent report from the American Heart Association​ predicted a tripling of direct medical costs of cardiovascular disease from $272.5 billion to $818.1 billion between 2010 and 2030 (Circulation​, March 2011, Vol. 123, pp. 933-944).

Study details

The Indian researchers divided lab rats into four groups: The first group acted as the control and was fed a normal diet; the other three groups were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet with supplemental LGG, Aloe vera​ gel, or a combination of both for 45 days.

Results showed that LGG consumption alone was associated with a 32% reduction in total cholesterol levels, and this increased to 43% when administered in combination with Aloe vera​.

In addition to the improvements in triacylglycerol and HDL levels, the LGG-Aloe vera​ combination was also associated with reductions in very low-density (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) of 45% and 30%, respectively.

“There has been a surge of interest in using phytometabolites for nutritional and health applications,” ​wrote the researchers.

“The present study showed that probiotic-fermented milk alone or in combination with AV gel had a positive effect on the lipid profile in experimental animals, although the mechanisms involved warrant further investigations.”

Source: Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.09.006
“Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Aloe vera gel improve lipid profiles in hypercholesterolemic rats”
Authors: M. Kumar, S. Rakesh, R. Nagpal, et al. 

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