Academy Lecture

Role of Probiotics in lipid, and glucose control, diabetes and hypertension management

The definition of a probiotic is “a live microbial which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal balance” . The initial concept of probiotics originated from the work of Metchnikoff at the beginning of the 20th century.

Probiotics contribute to the population, and diversities that exist with specific bacterial families influence changes in terms of energy utilization and metabolic pathways. These dynamic relationships which exist have a lot of beneficial effects for humans. Those beneficial effects have stimulated the need to investigate the relationship between the probiotics, other gut microbiota, and the gut functional integrity. Probiotics have been investigated as a potential dietary supplement that can positively contribute to an individual’s health. These health benefits are not limited to the intestinal tract, but also include amelioration of systemic metabolic disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases( CVD) and obesity.

Questions have been raised as regards the role of probiotics influences in various metabolic pathways in the body. The important question is that which relates to what role does probiotics play in control or management of blood cholesterol level, low-density lipoprotein, blood sugar, insulin resistance, and hypertension?.  A study by Huey-shi et al. (2009) reveals the role of probiotics in the management of metabolic diseases. It was shown that the contribution eventually moves towards the antihypertensive trends. The effects were attributed to the modulation of lipid profile, insulin, renin, and sexual hormones.This highlights a growing recognition of the role of probiotics and prebiotics in modulating the metabolic activities of the human gut microbiota and regulating the immune system, in turn improving the host’s health.

We understand that diabetes and hypertension are comorbidity diseases that frequently occur together in the same patients. T2DM is associated with a state of chronic low-level inflammation that leads to the development of CVD.The relationship is more dependent on the induction of insulin resistance, which leads to diabetic dyslipidemia. These changes thus lead to a high level of plasma total cholesterol, Low-density lipoprotein or very-low-density lipoprotein. All these subsequently contribute d increase incidence of hypertensive conditions.

Accumulating evidence suggests that supplementation of probiotics and prebiotics could have preventative and therapeutic effects on CVD due to a reduction of LDL-cholesterol, serum/plasma total cholesterol, and triglycerides or increment of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-cholesterol) Jun et al. (2017) also support the current research, which shows that probiotics decrease the indexes of lipid profile, blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar in patients diagnosed with T2DM. As a result, probiotics have been suggested to be a new method of lipid profile control and hypertension management.

The Lactobacillus component of fermented milk has been attributed to show these beneficial effects. More evidence is showing the contribution of the bifidobacteria towards a reduction in the serum cholesterol level. The control is attributed to the fact that cholesterol synthesis and absorption occurs mainly in the gastrointestinal tract where probiotics dominate. As a result, probiotics have also been suggested to contribute to improvement in blood pressure control.

Another important mechanism that probiotics such as Lactobacillus species engage in to help control lipids and hypertension include the use of their bile salts hydrolase (BSH) enzymes genes. The probiotics strains offer a beneficial pathway of providing Bile salts hydrolase activity, which significantly influences lipid metabolism and absorption of dietary lipids, weight gain, and cholesterol levels. Probiotics containing the Lactobacillus Plantarum strains have the potential to antagonize other microorganisms in a competitive way that relates to mucosal adherence, epithelium related antimicrobial activity, enhance mucus production and barrier integrity which all helps to reduce obesity. This is all about modulating energy homeostasis and fat deposition.



Probiotics play an important role in influence the severity of different metabolic disorders. T2DM, CVD  and obesuty are the most common chronic metabolic disorder globally. Common symptoms include; hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, high blood lipid, and intestinal microflora imbalance. These changes can even lead to multiple organ failure. Some of those organ failures include; cardiac arrest, diabetic retinopathy, and so on. The dangerous influence of T2DM is not only severe pain but also a substantial economic burden that affects everyday life. Recently, clinical studies reported that probiotics could significantly control the indexes of lipid profiles and blood pressure.

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