This study was conducted to see the effects of probiotic yoghurt on serum cholesterol levels. About 4% of the deaths in Iran are due to cardiovascular diseases and hypercholesterolemia is among the aggravating factors. Diet therapy and cholesterol lowering agents are the treatments recommended. Probiotics are being investigated as cholesterol lowering agents. The study was carried out with 46 individuals with cholesterol levels between 200 - 304 mg/dl. Initially, they received 200 ml/day sterilized milk for 4 weeks and were instructed not to consume yoghurt. At the beginning, blood samples were collected for measuring total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density lipoprotein) levels. Group A received 300 g/day probiotic yoghurt and group B received normal yoghurt of the same amount for 6 weeks. Again blood samples were collected and analyzed. In the next round, the groups reversed their consumption patterns. Again blood samples were collected and analyzed. The results were indicative of the reducing effects of probiotic yoghurt on total cholesterol and LDL levels and raising effect on HDL. The difference between the reduced levels of LDL in both treatments was statistically significant. Consumption of the probiotic yoghurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteriaresults in the decreased total cholesterol and LDL and increased HDL.
Key words: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL.
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