Twelve weeks of supplementation with the probiotic pair resulted in an 18% reduction in triglyceride levels in non-diabetic people with mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia. Elevated triglyceride levels are thought to be a significant and independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD).
The probiotic regimen was also associated with significant increases in plasma apolipoprotein A-V (apoA-V), a significant modulator of triglycerides. The probiotics also increased LDL particle size, with larger LDL cholesterol particles reported by some scientists to be better than smaller LDL particles.
Scientists from Yonsei University and Korea Yakult Co. report their findings in Atherosclerosis.
The Korean researchers 128 people with hypertriglyceridemia to participate in their randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a powdered supplement containing the probiotic combination providing 5 billion CFUs per day of each strain, or placebo for 12 weeks.
Results showed that, in addition to the 18% reduction in triglyceride levels, ApoA-V levels increased by 21% in the probiotic group, while LDL particle size increased by an average of 15.6%.
“The most robust effect [was] observed in the subjects with the highest levels of fasting triglycerides,” added the researchers.
Additional genetic analysis of the participants indicated that the changes in triglyceride levels and ApoA-V were not affected by the APOA5 -1131T > C genotype, which challenges other observations that carriers of the C allele (TC or CC) had higher triglyceride levels than non-carriers (TT).
“The mechanism underlying the modulation of serum lipid profiles by probiotics remains largely obscure,” wrote the researchers. “The significant increase we observed in the plasma apo A-V levels in the probiotic group might result from up-regulation of apo A-V or a close association between circulating triglyceride and apo A-V, which is secreted primarily from the liver with HDL and is associated with VLDL.
“The importance of apo A-V in the lipolysis regulation of plasma triglyceride levels through its direct interaction with lipoprotein lipase has been found [in other studies]. This previous finding could explain the negative correlation between the changes in serum triglyceride with the changes in free fatty acids and apo A-V and the positive correlation between the changes in apo A-V and free fatty acids in the probiotic group of this study.”
Volume 241, Issue 2, Pages 649-656, doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.06.030
“Supplementation with two probiotic strains, Lactobacillus curvatus HY7601 and Lactobacillus plantarum KY1032, reduces fasting triglycerides and enhances apolipoprotein A-V levels in non-diabetic subjects with hypertriglyceridemia”
Authors: H.Y. Ahn, M. Kim, J.S. Chae, Y-T. Ahn, J-H. Sim, I-D. Choi, S-H. Lee, J.H. Lee