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J Nutr. 1997 Nov;127(11):2260-6.

The association of yogurt starters with Lactobacillus casei DN 114.001 in fermented milk alters the composition and metabolism of intestinal microflora in germ-free rats and in human flora-associated rats.

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Unité d'Ecologie et de Physiologie du Système Digestif, Equipe Métabolites Bactériens et Santé, INRA, 78352 Jouy en Josas Cedex, France.


The aim of this study was to compare the effects of milk and of various fermented milks on the composition and metabolic activities of the intestinal microflora. Groups of eight rats were fed for 6 wk a diet containing 30% nonfermented milk (M), yogurt (Y), milk fermented with Lactobacillus casei (LcFM) or milk fermented with the association of L. casei DN 114.001 and yogurt starters (LcYFM). In the first study, the survival of the lactic acid bacteria from the fermented milks was assessed by bacterial enumeration in feces of germ-free rats (GF rats) fed milk or fermented milks. The metabolic activities of the lactic acid bacteria were studied in these rats by the measurement of glycolytic activities and products of bacterial fermentation, i.e., acetate and lactate (isoforms L and D). In a second study, the effects of fermented milks on the composition and metabolism [gas, glycolytic activities, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), alcohol and ammonia] of human flora were studied using human flora-associated rats (HF rats). In GF rats, the survival of L. casei in the feces did not differ between those fed the LcFM and LcYFM diets. L. bulgaricus was detected in the feces of the rats fed Y, whereas Streptoccus thermophilus was found in the feces of the LcYFM group. In HF rats, fecal concentration of Bifidobacteria was greater in the LcFM group than in the others. beta-Glucuronidase (EC activity was lower in rats fed LcFM and Y than in those fed M and LcYFM, whereas beta-galactosidase (, alpha-glucosidase (EC 3.2.1 20) and beta-glucosidase (EC activities were higher in the LcYFM group compared with the others. Methane excretion was higher in rats fed Y than in other groups. Cecal SCFA concentrations did not differ in LcFM, Y and M groups, but total SCFA, acetate, propionate and butyrate were significantly greater in the LcYFM group. These results suggest that milk fermented with the combination of L. casei and yogurt starters leads to specific effects that are different from the simple addition of the effects found with yogurt and milk fermented with L. casei. These specific effects are potentially beneficial to human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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