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Background: There is a growing interest concerning the role of probiotics as natural hypocholesterolemic
agents in etiopathogenesis of cardiovascular and related heart diseases. Based on the growing evidence of the importance of probiotics with potential cardiovascular benefits, the efforts to improve the lipid profile using lactic acid bacteria in an optimal direction are gathering momentum.
Methods: The effects of probiotic Dahi containing L. acidophilus LaVK2 and Dahi culture on lipid profiles in rats with diet-induced hypercholesterolemia were studied. Three treatment groups of rats (n=7) were fed experimental diets: LaVK2 Dahi, Dahi or buffalo milk (BM) for 120 days. After the consumption of experimental diets, animals were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet ad libitum.
Results: Supplementation with LaVK2 Dahi decreased plasma total cholesterol by 22.6%; however, in BM and Dahi fed groups, the increase was over 70%. The decrease in triacylglycerol level in rats fed LaVK2 Dahi was 64.2%. Plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) increased by 72.6% in LaVK2 Dahi fed group, whereas low density lipoprotein (LDL) + very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol decreased by 89%, respectively. As a result, the atherogenic index (AI), the ratio of HDL to LDL+VLDL was decreased by 91.2% on LaVK2 Dahi when compared to only 13.1% decline on BM. Futhermore, the accumulations of total cholesterol and triacylglycerols in liver and aortic tissues were significantly (P<0.05) reduced in rats fed with LaVK2 Dahi.
Conclusion: These observations suggest that oral administration of probiotic LaVK2 Dahi attenuated dietinduced hypercholesterolemia leading to cardiac protection by decreasing VLDL+LDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and TAGs and increasing HDL-cholesterol. Probiotic LaVK2 Dahi may have a therapeutic potential to improve the lipid profile and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.