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Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus Probiotic in Early Pregnancy on Plasma Conjugated Bile Acids in a Randomised Controlled Trial

  • 2021-01-13
  • Nutrients 13(1)
    • Yutao Chen
    • Jun Lu
    • K. Wickens
    • T. Stanley
    • Robyn M. Maude
    • P. Stone
    • C. Barthow
    • J. Crane
    • E. Mitchell
    • F. Merien
    • R. Murphy


We have previously shown that probiotic supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) led to a reduced incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Here we investigate whether HN001 supplementation resulted in alterations in fasting lipids, insulin resistance, or bile acids (BAs) during pregnancy. Fasting plasma samples collected at 24-30 weeks' gestation, from 348 women randomised at 14-16 weeks' gestation to consume daily probiotic HN001 (n = 172) or a placebo (n = 176) were analysed for lipids, insulin, glucose and BAs. Women supplemented with HN001 had lower fasting glucose compared with placebo (p = 0.040), and lower GDM. Significant differences were found in fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c), high density lipoprotein (HDL)-c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and BAs by GDM status. Lower fasting conjugated BAs were seen in women receiving HN001. A significant decrease of glycocholic acid (GCA) was found in older (age ≥ 35) women who received HN001 (p = 0.005), while GDM women showed significant reduced taurodeoxycholic acid (TDCA) (p = 0.018). Fasting conjugated BA was positively correlated with fasting glucose (r = 0.136, p = 0.020) and fasting insulin (r = 0.113, p = 0.036). Probiotic HN001 supplementation decreases conjugated BAs and might play a role in the improvement of glucose metabolism in women with pregnancy.

Keywords: LC-MS; bile acids; conjugated bile acids; gestational diabetes; insulin sensitivity; probiotics; randomised controlled trial.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Decreased Glycocholic Acid Levels in Older WomenBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Reduced Fasting Blood Glucose LevelsBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Reduced Fasting Conjugated Bile AcidsBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Reduced Prevalence of Gestational Diabetes MellitusBeneficial
Lactobacillus rhamnosus NH001Reduced Taurodeoxycholic Acid in Women with GDMBeneficial
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