Recent study investigates mechanisms behind the cardiometabolic benefits of Kaneka’s AB-Life probiotic


Probiotic supplementation was associated with the reduction of conjugated bile acids, cholesterol levels, and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Photo ©Маргарита Медведева

Photo ©Маргарита Медведева

A recently published study1 offers insights into the mechanisms of actions for the cardiometabolic benefits a probiotic formula containing the Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains KABP011, KABP012, and KABP013, marketed as AB-Life by Kaneka Probiotics. In the single-center, single-arm, dose-escalation longitudinal study with a 4-week intervention period, 20 healthy, overweight male and female volunteers underwent four 7-day sequences of treatment with increased dosage over time.

Researchers specifically observed the impact of the probiotic on participants’ bile acid in serum, lipid profile, and lipoprotein function. According to the researchers, probiotics may be able to mediate cholesterol levels by modulating bile acid metabolism in the gut. Bile acids are the molecular products of catabolism, or breakdown, of cholesterol.

“[Bile acids] are synthesized in the liver (primary BA) and are typically combined with amino acids glycine or taurine (primary conjugated BA) before secretion into the duodenum to facilitate lipid absorption. Conjugated BA can behave as signalling [sic] molecules regulating systemic endocrine functions including triglyceride, cholesterol, and possibly glucose homeostasis and have direct antimicrobial effects,” the researchers explain. In a healthy microbiome, bacteria initiate bile acid catabolism through bacterial bile salt hydrolase (BSH) enzymes that produce unconjugated bile acids.

“BSH deconjugates bile salts, which are then poorly absorbed, inducing the activation of de novo synthesis of bile salts in the liver, leading to higher mobilization of cholesterol stores, and promoting the reduction of plasma cholesterol levels,” write the researchers.

Results showed that the consumption of the probiotic was associated with a progressive decrease in conjugated bile acids in serum, which was due to the reduction of tauro- and glyco-conjugated forms. Additionally, plasma levels of fibroblast growth factor-19 were significantly reduced in correlation with changes bile acids, and supplementation significant reduced non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDLc) and LDL cholesterol (LDLc) levels. The researchers also observed that after probiotic supplementation, LDL particles had a lower susceptibility to oxidation, and HDL particles gained antioxidant capacity. This is significant because LDL oxidation is a hallmark of atherosclerosis development.

“Cardiovascular diseases remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide, underscoring the urgency for effective interventions. As frontrunners in the biotics space, we understand the promise of carefully-selected beneficial bacteria – and continue to leverage our scientific expertise to address critical health challenges. This research represents yet another stride forward in the biotics space,” said Jordi Espadaler, innovation director at AB-Biotics, a Kaneka company, in a press release. “Not only does it provide clear evidence of the mechanisms of action underpinning AB-LIFE, indicating this probiotic formulation could be instrumental in controlling metabolic processes relevant to atherosclerosis, but it also demonstrates the potential of biotics developed via a precision approach – selected for their strain-specific benefits.”


  1. Padro, P.; Santisteban, V.; Huedo, P.; Puntes, M.; Aguilo, M.; Espadaler-Mazo, J.; Badimon, L. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains KABP011, KABP012, and KABP013 modulate bile acids and cholesterol metabolism in humans. Cardiovascular Research. 2024. Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1093/cvr/cvae061 (accessed 2024-05-06).
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