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J Dairy Sci. 1999 Nov;82(11):2308-14.

Increase of intestinal Bifidobacterium and suppression of coliform bacteria with short-term yogurt ingestion.

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Department of Pathology, National Cheng Kung University Medical College, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.


To determine whether ingestion of yogurt would alter human intestinal bacterial composition and whether Bifidobacterium numbers would increase in the intestine, 34 healthy volunteers were studied. The experimental period was 26 d, including an initial 8 d without yogurt, 10 d with three bottles (230 ml each) of AB yogurt per day (President Enterprise Corporation, Tainan, Taiwan), and 8 d without yogurt. Stool samples were taken at 3- to 4-d intervals. The bacteria of each fresh stool sample were promptly analyzed by dilution and culture on blood, MacConkey, Center for Disease Control and NNLP agars, the agar contained nalidixic acid, neomycin sulfate, LiCl, and paromomycin sulfate for aerobes, coliforms, anaerobes, and bifidobacteria, respectively. The number of bacteria was determined as colony-forming units per gram of dried stool. Results indicated that ingestion of AB yogurt increased the counts of anaerobic bacteria, suppressed aerobic bacteria, and significantly elevated the bifidus to coliform ratio. Arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction was used to differentiate the identity of bifidobacteria in four volunteers before and after yogurt ingestion and confirmed that B. bifidum ingested from the yogurt survived and proliferated in the stool throughout the experiment. However, the elevated bifidus to coliform ratio gradually diminished and disappeared after yogurt consumption was discontinued. In conclusion, ingestion of yogurt increased the numbers of stool bifidobacteria and suppressed coliform bacteria. The ingested bifidobacteria survived for more than 8 d after yogurt consumption was discontinued.

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