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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Jan;67(1):111-7.

Milk fermented with yogurt cultures and Lactobacillus casei compared with yogurt and gelled milk: influence on intestinal microflora in healthy infants.

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Unité d'Ecologie et de Physiologie du Système Digestif, équipe Métabolites Bactériens et Santé, Jouy en Josas, France.


Ingestion of fermented dairy products induces changes in the equilibrium and metabolism of the intestinal microflora and may thus exert a healthful influence on the host. We compared the effects of consumption of a traditional yogurt, a milk fermented with yogurt cultures and Lactobacillus casei (YC), and a nonfermented gelled milk on the fecal microflora of healthy infants. Thirty-nine infants aged 10-18 mo were randomly assigned to one of three groups in which they received 125 g/d of one of the three products for 1 mo. The following indexes were not modified during the supplementation period or for 1 wk after the end of supplementation: total number of anaerobes, bifidobacteria, bacteroides, and enterobacteria; pH; water content; concentrations of acetate, butyrate, propionate, and lactate; and bacterial enzyme activity of beta-galactosidase and alpha-glucosidase. In contrast, in the yogurt group the number of enterococci in fecal samples increased (P < 0.05), whereas the percentage of branched-chain and long-chain fatty acids, which are markers of proteolytic fermentation, decreased (P < 0.05). In the YC group, the percentage of children with > 6 log10 colony-forming units lactobacilli/g feces increased (P < 0.05), whereas the potentially harmful enzyme activity of beta-glucuronidase and beta-glucosidase decreased (P < 0.05). These decreases were particularly marked in those infants in the YC group in whom activity of the enzymes was initially unusually high.

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