March 08, 2017
1 min read

Probiotic supplementation may reduce hypertension, dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Adults with type 2 diabetes randomly assigned to probiotic supplementation saw a small reduction in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared with those assigned a placebo, according to a meta-analysis.

Probiotic supplementation could be helpful in reduction of type 2 diabetic patient risk for cardiovascular diseases,” wrote Fatemeh Hendijani, PharmD, PhD, and Vajihe Akbari, PharmD, PhD, of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. “However, [BP] and lipid-lowering effects of probiotics are not strong enough to consider them as a nonpharmacologic alternative.”

Hendijani and Akbari analyzed pooled data from 11 randomized controlled trials (including intervention and placebo arms) assessing benefits of probiotic supplementation in any form by measuring plasma levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic BP as primary outcomes (n = 641). Included studies were conducted in Brazil, Denmark, Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Researchers used random-effects models to obtain standardized mean differences (SMD); weighted mean differences were also calculated.

In 10 studies assessing plasma triglyceride levels, participants assigned to probiotic supplementation saw reduced levels vs. those assigned placebo (SMD = –1.028; 95% CI, –1.669 to –0.387). Researchers observed similar results in 10 studies measuring total cholesterol (SMD = –0.86; 95% CI, –1.247 to –0.472) and nine studies measuring LDL cholesterol (SMD = –0.869; 95% CI, –1.685 to –0.053); there were no between-group differences observed for HDL cholesterol (P = .108).

Probiotic supplementation was also associated with a reduction in both systolic (SMD = –0.928; 95% CI, –1.582 to –0.274) and diastolic BP (SMD = –0.882; 95% CI, –1.758 to –0.007) across seven studies, according to the researchers.

An improvement in lipid profile depended on a variety of factors, including patient age, BMI and probiotic dosage, they wrote. In subgroup analyses, multi-strain probiotic supplements exhibited more effectiveness overall vs. single-strain formulas.

“Our results indicated that, in addition to the number of strains, the type of strains (eg, Saccharomyces, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus) determines the effectiveness of probiotics because different types of probiotic strains have different therapeutic modes of actions,” the researchers wrote. – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.