Updates in understanding the hypocholesterolemia effect of probiotics on atherosclerosis.


Key Laboratory for Biorheological Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Vascular Implants, Bioengineering College of Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400030, China. [Email]


Atherosclerosis is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases, which are considered the fatal ailment globally. Hypercholesterolaemia plays a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Many studies have been stated that probiotics could affect hypercholesterolemia via cholesterol metabolism. Probiotics are live bacteria which are good for our health when administered orally in high amounts. Recently, many studies have revealed the beneficial effects of the nutritional ingestion of probiotics which can decrease serum cholesterol levels. The aim of this review is, firstly, to explore the hypercholesterolemia effect of how it progresses into atherosclerosis and, secondly, to summarize the hypocholesterolaemia effect of probiotics on atherosclerosis and the up-to-date information on their basic mechanisms. The most important mechanisms responsible for the hypocholesterolemic effect of probiotics are the suppression of the reabsorption of bile acids and inhibition of the intestinal cholesterol absorption. Current studies indicate that numerous mechanisms within the cholesterol metabolism, e.g., ones involving the Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 protein, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, and 7α- and 27α-hydroxylases, have been recommended where regulation may take place after oral intake of probiotics. However, these mechanisms are still poorly understood. Thus, further studies are required to examine the possible mechanisms, whereby probiotics can be utilized safely and considered for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.