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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2008 May;46(5):608-11. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181660694.

Rapid determination of the bacterial composition of commercial probiotic products by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

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  • 1Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Label claims on probiotic products often do not represent the true constituents. With the increased use of probiotics in clinical studies, it is necessary to know the true composition of probiotic products to better interpret study outcomes. We used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis to rapidly determine the overall bacterial composition of 14 commercial probiotic products and validated the results with species-specific polymerase chain reaction. The results show that many probiotic products contain unadvertised additional lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, whereas others are missing species listed on the product label. In summary, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism is a rapid method for profiling the microbial contents of probiotic products used in clinical studies.

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