What is it about?

We had successfully performed assessment of the cholesterol lowering properties of locally isolated probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) using our new, rapid, more sensitive and cost effective digitally-enhanced HPTLC method. We had also demonstrated for the first time visualisation of cholesterol being taken up by LAB into their cellular membrane (assimilation) using confocal microscopy. Our findings indicated Lactobacillus plantarum LAB12 to exhibit the highest cholesterol lowering activity via cholesterol assimilation.

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Why is it important?

Firstly, current quantitative analytical methods of cholesterol lowering are time-consuming, tedious, expensive, labour-intensive and required larger sample volume. Our improved HPTLC method offers a high-throughput, reliable, quick and robust mean of cholesterol quantification from growth medium with minimal sample pre-treatment or extraction. Given the low consumption of solvents, our method also fulfils the “green chemistry” requirement. Secondly, the application of confocal microscopy facilitates direct visualisation of the localisation of exogenous cholesterol in LAB. Fluorescent images will certainly serve as strong evidence that confirms the assimilation properties of probiotics. Thirdly, probiotic-induced cholesterol-lowering effect is strain dependent. Identification of superior probiotic strains with excellent cholesterol-lowering properties is essential.

Perspectives

Both digitally-enhanced HPTLC method and confocal microscopy-aided visualisation of cholesterol assimilation is expected to expedite screening and validation of probiotics with cholesterol lowering via assimilation.

Kalavathy Ramasamy
Universiti Teknologi MARA

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This page is a summary of: In vitro assessment of pediococci- and lactobacilli-induced cholesterol-lowering effect using digitally enhanced high-performance thin-layer chromatography and confocal microscopy, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, January 2019, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s00216-018-1544-2.
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