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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Sep 1;18(5):495-505.

The effect of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v on the bacterial composition and metabolic activity in faeces of healthy volunteers: a placebo-controlled study on the onset and duration of effects.

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Departments of Gastroenterology and Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



To study the onset and duration of a possible effect of a fermented oatmeal drink containing Lactobacillus plantarum 299v on the composition of the faecal flora of healthy volunteers in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study.


Twenty-two participants consumed a fermented oatmeal drink with or without L. plantarum 299v for 4 weeks. Faecal samples were collected weekly: two samples before, four during and four after the consumption of the drink. Several bacterial species were counted and enzyme activities, short-chain fatty acid concentrations, endotoxin concentration and pH were determined. L. plantarum 299v was identified using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA.


In contrast with the placebo group, median lactobacilli counts increased significantly from 4.2 (3.4-6.3) to 8.2 (7.3-8.5) log colony-forming units/gram faeces (P = 0.005) after 1 week of consumption of L. plantarum 299v, thereafter remaining stable during the treatment period. One week after cessation, a significant decrease in lactobacilli [to 4.4 (2.2-6.5) log colony-forming units/gram faeces] was observed (P = 0.003). These lactobacilli were identified as L. plantarum 299v. All other bacterial counts, enzyme activities, short-chain fatty acid concentrations, endotoxin concentration and pH remained unchanged.


L. plantarum 299v significantly increased the number of lactobacilli in the faecal flora within 1 week, and this effect disappeared within 1 week after cessation of intake. No other changes in bacterial counts and metabolic products were observed.

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