Effects of probiotic supplementation on the regulation of blood lipid levels in overweight or obese subjects: a meta-analysis†
Background: Obesity is a risk factor for many deadly diseases. Meanwhile, the prevalence of obesity has been continuously increasing in many countries. Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that confer health benefits on hosts. Probiotic supplementation could reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage. However, it is unclear whether supplementation with probiotics is beneficial to lower blood lipid levels for obese or overweight people. Methods: In this study, a comprehensive search across multiple databases was performed to identify studies that focused on the effects of probiotics on blood lipid levels in overweight or obese subjects. The meta-analysis included studies that compared the variations in blood lipid (total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride (TG)) concentrations between overweight and obese subjects who were supplemented with probiotics versus the controls who were not supplemented with probiotics. Results: Our findings indicated that probiotic supplementation in obese or overweight people was associated with significantly larger reductions in TC and LDL levels compared to a lack of probiotic supplementation in the control subjects. However, there was no significant difference in the variations between HDL and TG concentrations. Conclusion: Probiotic supplementation reduced TC and LDL concentrations in obese or overweight people. Additional data from large clinical trials are required to confirm the efficacy and safety of probiotics in the regulation of blood lipid levels in obese or overweight people.