Cholesterol/LipidsPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Calcium, probiotics, and cholesterol metabolism

Researchers at Friedrich Schiller University, in Jena, Germany, studied the influence of a probiotic supplement alone and combined with a calcium supplement on lowering blood cholesterol levels.

First, the details.

  • 32 men and women were assigned to drink a probiotic drink containing 1010 CFU/day Lactobacillus paracasei (LPC37) for 4 weeks.
  • Then, 1 group consumed bread enriched with pentacalcium (CaP) hydroxy-triphosphate (1 gram Ca/day).
  • The other group ate bread without CaP.
  • After 2 weeks of no treatment and another 2 weeks of taking placebo, the treatments were switched for another 4 weeks.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • After taking with LPC37 + CaP, total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol concentrations decreased significantly compared to LPC37 + placebo.
  • Fecal concentration of L. paracasei and that of all lactobacilli increased significantly after LPC37 + CaP and LPC37 compared to placebo.
  • Secondary bile acids in feces increased significantly after LPC37 + CaP compared to placebo.

The bottom line?

A bit confusing, but in the end the authors concluded the following.

  • CaP influences the colonization of LPC37 in the human gut under.
  • The combined supplementation also decreases LDL-cholesterol and the LDL/HDL ratio in healthy men and women with moderately raised cholesterol.
    • This could be also due to the CaP supplementation.

Probably no direct application at this time, but it might be important in the future.

11/8/11 19:45 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.