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J Dairy Sci. 2005 Oct;88(10):3435-42.

Ingestion of milk fermented by genetically modified Lactococcus lactis improves the riboflavin status of deficient rats.

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Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos (CERELA-CONICET) Chacabuco 145, Tucumán, Argentina. .


Riboflavin deficiency is common in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries. The use of riboflavin-producing strains in the production of dairy products such as fermented milks, yogurts, and cheeses is feasible and economically attractive because it would decrease the costs involved during conventional vitamin fortification and satisfy consumer demands for healthier foods. The present study was conducted to assess in a rat bioassay the response of administration of milk fermented by modified Lactococcus lactis on the riboflavin status of deficient rats. Rats were fed a riboflavin-deficient diet during 21 d after which this same diet was supplemented with milk fermented by Lactoccus lactis pNZGBAH, a strain that overproduces riboflavin during fermentation. The novel fermented product, with increased levels of riboflavin, was able to eliminate most physiological manifestations of ariboflavinosis, such as stunted growth, elevated erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient values and hepatomegaly, that were observed using a riboflavin depletion-repletion model, whereas a product fermented with a nonriboflavin-producing strain did not show similar results. A safety assessment of this modified strain was performed by feeding rodents with the modified strain daily for 4 wk. This strain caused no detectable secondary effects. These results pave the way for analyzing the effect of similar riboflavin-overproducing lactic acid bacteria in human trials. The regular consumption of products with increased levels of riboflavin could help prevent deficiencies of this essential vitamin.

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