Synbiotics may help regulate lipid metabolism: Study

By Olivia DeSmit

- Last updated on GMT

© nopparit / Getty Images
© nopparit / Getty Images

Related tags Dyslipidemia synbiotics

The use of a synbiotic supplement helped to modulate miRNA expression and therefore lipid metabolism, according to a recent study. This modulation was observed in participants suffering from dyslipidemia, a metabolic disorder with abnormal blood lipid numbers.

“This study provides evidence that synbiotic supplementation can modulate miR-27a and miR-33a expression and improve lipid metabolism in patients with dyslipidemia,” researchers from Iran wrote in the British Journal of Nutrition​.

Previous research details the benefits of synbiotics when looking at traditional lipid parameters, but this study chose to investigate “the specific influence of multi-species synbiotic supplementation on circulating miRNAs related to lipid metabolism including miR-27a and miR-33a.”

Dyslipidemia is a metabolic disorder that carries risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and presents itself with elevated total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglyceride levels and below-average high-density lipoprotein levels.

“Growing evidence indicates that miRNA expression is influenced by the gut microbiota,” the researchers wrote. “Recent research has highlighted a strong correlation between dyslipidemia and alterations in the composition of GM.”

Study details

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel study included 56 adult male participants under the age of 60 with dyslipidemia. They took synbiotic sachets two times a day for 12 weeks that contained 3x10^10 CFU of six different species of probiotics, 5 g of inulin and a fructooligosaccharide prebiotic.

The participants recorded nutrient and calorie intake for three days before and after the study. Anthropometric measurements such as height, weight, body fat percentage and body mass index were taken as well as biochemical analysis of blood and stool samples.

The study did not observe any anthropometric changes for either the placebo or synbiotic group, however the results indicated that participants in the synbiotic group had downregulated expression levels of the microRNAs when compared to the placebo group. They also had an improvement in serum high-density lipoprotein, small dense low-density lipoprotein, apoA-I and apoB-100.  

“At the end of the study, miR-27a and miR-33a relative expression levels were significantly decreased in the intervention group compared with the placebo group,” the researchers wrote.

Prior research has shown miR-27a and miR-33a to have roles in modulating the genes that are involved in lipid homeostasis, with the current study noting that miR-27a has been suggested as a main regulator of cholesterol metabolism and miR-33 as a potential biomarker for therapeutic goals due to its appropriate response to dietary interventions.

The researchers also reported a strong positive correlation between miR-33a expression levels and serum TC, LDL-C and sdLDL-c.


Source: British Journal of Nutrition
2024, April 30. doi: 10.1017/S0007114524000886
“Effects of Multi-species Synbiotic Supplementation on Circulating miR-27a, miR-33a Levels, and Lipid Parameters in Adult Men with Dyslipidemia; A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”
Authors: Salamat, S. et al.


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