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Effect of the Probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii on Lipid Levels and Other Cardiovascular Biomarkers

Principal Investigator:  Heather Zwickey, PhD

BACKGROUND & SIGNIFICANCE:  Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Individuals with higher levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides are at increased risk for coronary artery disease.  In contrast, individuals with higher levels of HDL cholesterol have a decreased risk for coronary artery disease.  Numerous animal and human studies have demonstrated that probiotics may have clinically desirable effects on cholesterol levels. 

RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODS:  For this pilot study, we are investigating the effect of probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii on cholesterol levels in twelve healthy individuals with high levels of total cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol.  All study participants will supplement their diets with 40 billion organisms per day of encapsulated Saccharomyces boulardii for 8 weeks.  Outcome measures include HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, hs-CRP, fibrinogen, homocysteine, small dense LDL III, small dense LDL IV, total LDL particles, large buoyant HDL 2b, total HDL particles, non-HDL particles, VLDL particles, remnant lipoprotein (RLP), lipoprotein(a), apo B-100, and insulin levels measured at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks.