Hypocholesterolaemic effect of a new fermented milk product in healthy middle-aged men.Eur J Clin Nutr 1995; 49(5):346-52EJ
There are still controversies as to the potential beneficial effects of milk and fermented milk products on the level of lipoproteins. The objective of the present investigation was to test the effect of a moderate daily intake of a new fermented milk product, which was based on a bacterial culture obtained from the intestinal flora of inhabitants of Abkhasia, on the lipoprotein levels of a homogeneous group of middle-aged Danish men.
The study was randomised, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, and the intervention was performed for a period of 6 weeks.
Fifty-eight healthy, non-obese, normocholesterolaemic, male volunteers born in 1949 of Danish descent participated (i.e. all were 44 years old).
During the intervention period the subjects' habitual diets were supplemented with 200 ml/day of either the new fermented milk product or a placebo product (chemically fermented). The biologically fermented milk product contained Enterococcus faecium and two strains of Streptococcus termophilus. Fasting blood samples were drawn initially and after 3 and 6 weeks and analysed for plasma values of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and triglyceride. In addition, LDL-cholesterol was estimated.
After these 6 weeks total cholesterol was reduced significantly in the group given biologically fermented milk (-0.37 mmol/l, confidence interval: -0.51 to -0.23) while no changes were observed in the placebo group (-0.02 mmol/l) (P < 0.01). This reduction in total cholesterol could be completely ascribed to a fall in LDL-cholesterol by 10% (i.e. -0.42 mmol/l) since HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride were unchanged in both groups.
Thus, this short-term study (6 weeks) demonstrated an LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect (10% reduction) of a new fermented milk product in middle-aged Danish men.