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The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 3 synbiotic diets: 1) containing Lactobacillus casei ASCC 292 and fructooligosaccharides (LF diet); 2) containing L. casei ASCC 292 and maltodextrin (LM diet); and 3) containing L. casei ASCC 292, fructooligosaccharide, and maltodextrin (LFM diet) to reduce serum cholesterol in male Wistar rats. The effect of the synbiotic diets on intestinal microflora, concentration of organic acids, and the possibility of translocation of lactobacilli were also investigated. The LFM diet lowered serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, whereas the LM diet increased serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. However, synbiotic diets did not contribute to a change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level compared with the control diet. There was a decrease in the population of staphylococci, bacteroides, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms in most bowel regions with the LFM diet compared with the control (which did not contain any synbiotic). In general, the LFM diet contributed to a higher concentration of lactic acid that may have contributed to the decrease in the population of pathogenic microorganisms compared with the control. Fructooligosaccharide was the preferred substrate for production of acetic acid. Results from this study showed that the synbiotic diet that contained L. casei ASCC 292, fructooligosaccharide, and maltodextrin beneficially altered cholesterol levels and produced a healthier bowel microbial population without translocation of lactobacilli to other organs.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus casei VK4Increased Fecal Lactic AcidBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei VK4Reduced Pathogenic Microorganisms in the IntestineBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei VK4Reduced Serum Total Cholesterol LevelsBeneficial
Lactobacillus casei VK4Stable High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol LevelBeneficial

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