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Ann Nutr Metab. 2001;45(1):13-8.

Influence of a probiotic yoghurt on the status of vitamins B(1), B(2) and B(6) in the healthy adult human.

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  • 1Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria. ernaehrungswissenschaften@univie.ac.at



The main reason for this study was to determine whether yoghurt bacteria, being rich in some water-soluble vitamins, release them or utilize vitamins from their surroundings. Our study was trying to determine for the first time, if the viable bacteria of probiotic yoghurt are able to influence the parameters of the B-vitamin (B(1), B(2), B(6)) status of the healthy adult human.


The test yoghurt was commercially available probiotic yoghurt prepared with Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus acidophilus, enriched with Lactobacillus casei GG. Different chemical forms of all investigated B-vitamins were determined by HPLC methods. In order to determine the influence of the yoghurt flora, each of 12 subjects consumed four yoghurt portions 125 g each ( = 500 g) a day, containing thermally inactivated cultures during the first 2-week period and yoghurt without heat treatment during the second 2-week period.


The heat treatment of the probiotic yoghurt caused negligible changes in vitamin contents. The plasma levels of thiamin decreased significantly (p < 0.01) after the first 2-week period and kept on decreasing during the second 2-week period. A similar trend was found in the urinary excretion. The plasma levels of the B(2)-vitamers were different. The flavin adenine dinucleotide concentrations increased significantly (p < 0.01) after the consumption of heat-treated yoghurt and decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after the following 2 weeks, in which the subjects received the untreated yoghurt. In contrast, the flavin mononucleotide plasma levels decreased during the first 2-week period and increased during the second part of the study, but the change was not statistically significant. The free riboflavin concentrations in plasma and urine showed a continuous but not significant increase. The concentrations of pyridoxal-5-phosphate in plasma increased after the consumption of yoghurt with the inactivated bacteria and decreased in the second part of the study. However, the differences were not significant. The excretion of thiamin, B(2)- and B(6)-vitamers in the faeces did not significantly change throughout the study period (p>0.05).


Our observations show that the bacterial flora of the examined yoghurt does not influence the vitamin B(1), B(2) and B(6) status of man. It seems likely that even lactobacilli of the 'probiotic' type which are vitamin B consumers can decrease the bioavailability of these vitamins for man. Obviously a thermal death of the cells did not induce a release of physiologically active vitamins.

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