Probiotics are known as functional foods and have been recommended as dietary adjuncts to hypercholesterolemic subjects. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of three Lactobacillus strains on lipid metabolism in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet. The results showed that Lactobacillus acidophilus CH5, strain Shirota and L. acidophilus NCFM were able to deconjugate bile acids in vitrobut the same species did not significantly alter the serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and bile acids of rats fed a high cholesterol diet, showing that the three probiotic species administered, although they were able to deconjugate bile acids, did not influence the lipid metabolism of the experimental animals.
Key words: Probiotic, functional food, health claim, bile salt hydrolase, lactic acid bacteria.
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