Probiotic trio enhances cardiometabolic health, studies find

Published: 11-Apr-2024

The study highlighted the ability of AB-LIFE's probiotic blend to support healthy cholesterol levels by modulating the bile acid serum pool and regulating circulating lipoproteins

A new mechanistic study published in Cardiovascular Research, has shed light on the intricate mechanisms of action underlying the cardiometabolic benefits of probiotic strains – Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) strains KABP 011, KABP 012 and KABP 013 – marketed under AB-LIFE. 

Previous research2,3,4,5, including a recent study carried out by an independent group of German investigators6, has revealed the cholesterol lowering potential of the formulation in patients with hypercholesterolemia, but this pioneering investigation is the first to demonstrate a probiotic’s impact on both LDL (low-density lipoprotein) particle size and apolipoproteins – relevant biomarkers in atherosclerosis – and showed a protective effect in healthy patients. 

Showing in detail the mechanisms underlying AB-LIFE’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels, including the modulation of bile acid serum pool and regulation of circulating lipoproteins, the trial underscores the potential of the three strains as a powerful probiotic formulation for cardiometabolic health, supporting novel and alternative avenues for the development of natural, safe and science-supported solutions.


A scientific milestone for prebiotics

Probiotics have gained significant interest in the cardiovascular health field for their involvement in regulating lipid metabolism and managing cholesterol levels – thereby contributing to cardiometabolic wellbeing. 

The AB-LIFE formulation has previously exhibited high Bile Salt Hydrolase (BSH) activity compared to other reference strains in vitro.7 

Additionally, it has shown capacity to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’, and total cholesterol levels in patients with mild to high hypercholesterolemia.3,5,6 

These observations led to the hypothesis that AB-LIFE’s cholesterol-lowering effects may be attributed to its modulation of bile acid metabolism in the gut – but this theory needed further investigation. 

To gain a deeper understanding of the unique strain-specific mechanisms involved – essential for advancing innovation in the field – Kaneka Probiotics and AB-BIOTICS initiated a new mechanistic study to bridge the knowledge gap. 

Collaborating with renowned cardiometabolic health expert, Prof. Lina Badimon, Director of the Cardiovascular Science Program (ICCC) at the IR-Hospital Santa Creu and San Pau, IIBSantPau, Barcelona, the research team investigated the effects of four weeks AB-LIFE intervention (with escalating doses) on healthy yet overweight individuals.


During the first week, participants took just one capsule per day. Supplementation with this particular probiotic resulted in: 


  • Reduction of cholesterol levels (significant change for non-HDL cholesterol) after only one week of intervention 
  • Increased bile acid deconjugation in the gut leading to reduced intestinal reabsorption. Bile salts are synthesised in the liver from cholesterol, therefore the elimination of bile salts results in higher mobilisation of circulating cholesterol stores to replace them; subsequently reducing plasma cholesterol levels
  • Reduced apolipoprotein (Apo)B100 and ApoB48 in plasma
  • Decreased small-LDL levels, which are associated with higher risk of atheroma plaque formation
  • Reduced LDL susceptibility to oxidation – a hallmark of atherosclerosis development and increased HDL (high-density lipoprotein) antioxidant capacity after probiotic intake, enhancing HDLs atheroprotective properties
  • Impact on gut microbiota composition
  • Increased protective effect in patients with normal levels of plasma cholesterol, reducing the need for pharmacological intervention to control the dyslipidemia


These effects confirm that L. plantarum strains KABP 011, KABP 012 and KABP 013 regulate lipid metabolism and support cholesterol excretion by acting on several metabolites, including bile salts, and align with a pattern of protection against atherosclerosis in overweight subjects – a primary predictor of coronary heart diseases.

Importantly, recent research suggests serum apolipoprotein (Apo)B is an even more accurate marker of cardiovascular risk than LDL quantification, underscoring the importance of AB-LIFE’s effect in lowering ApoB.8

Jordi Espadaler, Innovation Director at AB-BIOTICS, a Kaneka company, comments: Cardiovascular diseases remain a leading cause of mortality worldwide, underscoring the urgency for effective interventions. Not only does this study provide clear evidence of the mechanisms of action underpinning AB-LIFE, but it also demonstrates the potential of biotics developed via a precision approach –selected for their strain-specific benefits.” 


A probiotic gathering the attention of cardiometabolic researchers

AB-LIFE is a clinically tested probiotic supplement for cardiometabolic health, backed by more than 10 years of research and development. 

First developed as a breakthrough natural solution for hypercholesterolemia, its strains are now recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS); and have received regulatory approval for claims linked to cardiometabolic health by the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) and South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

To read the full study, visit:



1. Padro T, et al. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains KABP011, KABP012 and KABP013 modulate bile acids and cholesterol metabolism in humans. Cardiovasc Res. Published online March 25, 2024. doi:10.1093/cvr/cvae061

2. Espadaler J, et al. Abstracts of the 10th Workshop on Probiotics and Prebiotics. Ann Nutr Metab. 2019;74 Suppl 1:1-31. doi: 10.1159/000496759. Epub, 2019.

3. Fuentes MC, et al. (2016). Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 9(2), 125–135

4.  Bosch M, et al. (2014). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 94(4), 803–809

5. Guerrero-Bonmatty R, et al. (2021). Nutrients 13(4),1206.

6. Kerlikowsky F, et al. (2023) Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. Published online November 28, doi:10.1007/s12602-023-10191-2

7. Bosch et al. Lactobacillus plantarum CECT 7527, 7528 and 7529: probiotic candidates to reduce cholesterol levels. J Sci Food Agric 2014;94:803–809.

8. Sniderman AD, Navar AM, Thanassoulis G. JAMA Cardiol. 2022;7(3):257–258. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2021.5080


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