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B. lactis improves lipid profiles and cytokines

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Rebecca Guild ● 2 min read

A new study published in Nutrition has evaluated the effect of 45 days of supplemental Bfidobacterim lactis HN019 in people with metabolic syndrome.

The aim of the study was to ascertain whether this probiotic could impact the classical parameters of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors. Pre and post study assessments included body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol as well as markers of inflammation such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

Study details

Researchers recruited 51 people identified as having metabolic syndrome to participate in a randomised control trial. Participants were randomised to a control group (n = 25) and a probiotic group (n = 26). The probiotic treatment group received a fermented milk drink containing 27.2 billion colony forming units (CFU) of B. lactis HN019 in an 80mL serving. 


Patients in the treatment group experienced reductions (P=0.017) in BMI, whereas the control group remained unchanged. The treatment group also boasted a 7.2% and 13.6% reduction in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) respectively. Participants in the control group had no impact on LDL, however their total cholesterol actually increased during the study.

Interestingly researchers also is the observed reductions in TNF-a (P=0.033) and IL-6 (P = 0.044) which suggests that probiotic therapy may impact pro-inflammatory processes seen in patients with metabolic syndrome. This clinical trial shows promise for the application of a simple, yet safe opportunistic intervention to reduce the risk of developing downstream co-morbidities such as insulin resistance. 

Practice Summary

  • B. lactis HN019 may help improve BMI in obese patients.
  • B. lactis HN019 may help to provide positive outcomes in cholesterol assessments in patients with obesity and/or metabolic syndrome.
  • B. lactis may provide benefit in the control of inflammatory pathways, in particular TNF-a and IL-6.
  • Probiotics are a safe, simple and inexpensive intervention which can be employed as part of a treatment plan for the management of obesity and metabolic syndrome.


  1. Bernini L, Simao A, Alferi D, et al. Beneficial effects of Bifidobacterium lactis on lipid profile and cytokines in patients with metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Effects of probiotics on metabolic syndrome. Nutrition 2016;32(6):716-719. [Abstract


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