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J Med Food. 2009 Apr;12(2):310-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0166.

Orally delivered microencapsulated live probiotic formulation lowers serum lipids in hypercholesterolemic hamsters.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Elevated serum cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Nutritional therapies such as probiotics have been suggested to manage elevated cholesterol. This study investigates the cholesterol and triglyceride lowering potential of a microencapsulated feruloyl esterase-producing Lactobacillus fermentum 11976 (LF11976) probiotic formulation. Male Bio F(1)B hamsters were assigned to two groups to receive either the microcapsule probiotic formulation (containing LF11976 cells at 12.51 log colony-forming units/mL) or placebo formulation (empty) microcapsules, twice daily, by oral gavage for 18 weeks. For the duration of the study, animals were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. Serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the atherogenic index were 21.36%, 31.43%, and 32.59% lower in the group gavaged with the microencapsulated probiotic formulation than in the placebo control group after 18 weeks (P < .05). Histology studies showed reduced progression of atherosclerotic lesions in animals treated with microencapsulated LF11976 as compared to control animals. Treatment with microencapsulated LF11976 formulation produces significant reductions in serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and serum triglyceride levels in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic hamsters. Findings suggest the potential of the oral microencapsulated probiotic cell formulation as a functional nutritional alternative for managing excessive serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

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