Table of Contents
Chinese Journal of Biology
Volume 2014, Article ID 572754, 7 pages
Review Article

Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Hypercholesterolemia: A Review

Department of Biology, Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University, Gandhigram, Dindigul, Tamilnadu, India

Received 13 December 2013; Accepted 18 January 2014; Published 27 February 2014

Academic Editors: A. Castañeyra-Perdomo, N. Heng, and S.-L. Pan

Copyright © 2014 Marimuthu Anandharaj et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cholesterol plays a major role in human health. High cholesterol is a leading risk factor for human cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can form plaque in the artery walls. Hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. A number of pharmacological and non-pharmacological (including dietary) approaches being employed to reduce the cholesterol level. Numerous drugs that lower serum cholesterol have been developed to treat hypercholesterolemic patients, the best example being the statins drugs (Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Rosuvastatin, and Lovastatin). However, the undesirable side effects of these compounds were observed and have caused concern about their long term therapeutic use. Several studies have been reported that the consumption of fermented dairy products decreases serum cholesterol. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote health benefits upon consumption, while prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics and prebiotics have been suggested to reduce cholesterol via various mechanisms without any deleterious effect to the human health. This paper may throw some light to prove the ability of these synbiotics as a novel alternative or adjuvant to chemical drugs to help fight the hypercholesterolemic problem.