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Nutr Clin Pract. 2012 Apr;27(2):247-51. doi: 10.1177/0884533612440289. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Beneficial effects of long-term consumption of a probiotic combination of Lactobacillus casei Shirota and Bifidobacterium breve Yakult may persist after suspension of therapy in lactose-intolerant patients.

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State University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil.



The efficacy of some probiotic strains for the management of lactose intolerance remains to be established.


To evaluate the effects of a 4-week consumption of a probiotic product containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota and Bifidobacterium breve Yakult (10(7)-10(9) CFU of each strain) on symptoms and breath hydrogen exhalation after a lactose load in lactose-intolerant patients and whether the beneficial results persisted after probiotic discontinuation.


Twenty-seven patients with lactose maldigestion and intolerance participated in this study, which comprised 4 hydrogen breath tests: baseline condition (20 g lactose), after lactase ingestion (9000 FCC units), at the end of 4-week probiotic supplementation, and a follow-up test performed 3 months after probiotic discontinuation. For each test, the area under the breath hydrogen concentration vs time curve (AUC(180 min)) was calculated, and symptom scores were recorded.


The probiotic combination significantly reduced symptom scores (P < .01) and breath hydrogen AUC (P = .04) compared with the baseline condition. The comparison with the lactase test showed that symptom scores were similar (P > .05), despite the significantly higher (P = .01) AUC values after probiotic use. In the follow-up test, symptom scores and breath hydrogen AUC values remained similar to those found at the end of probiotic intervention.


Four-week consumption of a probiotic combination of L casei Shirota and B breve Yakult seems to improve symptoms and decrease hydrogen production intake in lactose-intolerant patients. These effects may persist for at least 3 months after suspension of probiotic consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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