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Nutrition. 2011 Oct;27(10):994-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Dietary effect of folate-rich fermented milk produced by Streptococcus thermophilus strains on hemoglobin level.

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Dairy Microbiology Division, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India.



Folate, a water-soluble vitamin, functions as a carbon carrier in the formation of heme, the iron-containing non-protein portion of hemoglobin. Therefore, its deficiency leads to anemia. The objective of this study was to determine the dietary effects of folate-rich fermented milk produced by high-folate-producing Streptococcus thermophilus strains (RD 102 and RD 104) on hemoglobin level using a murine model.


Thirty-two albino mice 30 ± 10 d old were assigned to ingest a basal diet (i.e., a synthetic anemic diet, n = 8, group I, control 1), a basal diet with skim milk (n = 8, group II, control 2), a basal diet with fermented skim milk produced by folate plus RD 102 (n = 8, group III, test 1), and a basal diet with fermented skim milk produced by folate plus RD 104 (n = 8, group IV, test 2) in a 6-wk, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hemoglobin concentrations were estimated by the Drabkin-Austin cyanmethemoglobin method during the prefeeding (10 d), feeding (20 d), and postfeeding (10 d) trials, respectively.


The results showed that the test groups (III and IV) receiving folate-rich fermented milks prepared using high-folate producing S. thermophilus strains showed a significant increase in hemoglobin level compared with the control groups (I and II).


Folate-rich fermented milks have the potential to significantly increase the hemoglobin level of blood. Hence, high-folate-producing S. thermophilus strains offer a novel natural approach to fortify dairy products with folate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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