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A randomized trial of Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 to treat lactose intolerance.

  • 1999-01
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 69(1)
    • J. Saltzman
    • R. Russell
    • B. Golner
    • S. Barakat
    • G. Dallal
    • B. Goldin


Background: Lactose intolerance is the most common disorder of intestinal carbohydrate digestion. Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 is a strain of lactobacilli with properties of marked intestinal adherence and high beta-galactosidase activity.

Objective: This study was designed to determine whether oral feeding of Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 leads to a lactose-tolerant state.

Design: We studied 42 subjects with self-reported lactose intolerance and performed breath-hydrogen tests to determine whether they were lactose maldigesters. Subjects with established lactose maldigestion (n = 24) were invited to be randomly assigned to an omeprazole-treated (hypochlorhydric) group or a non-omeprazole-treated group, but 6 subjects chose not to participate. All randomly assigned subjects (n = 18) ingested Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 twice per day for 7 d and stool samples were collected. Breath-hydrogen tests were performed and symptom scores were recorded at baseline and after lactobacilli ingestion.

Results: Lactose maldigestion was established in 24 of 42 subjects (57%) with self-reported lactose intolerance. In 18 lactose-maldigesting subjects, overall hydrogen production and symptom scores after ingestion of Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 were not significantly different from baseline values. Live Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 was recovered in stool samples from 7 subjects.

Conclusions: Lactose intolerance is overreported in subjects with gastrointestinal symptoms after lactose ingestion. Treatment of lactose-maldigesting subjects with and without hypochlorhydria with Lactobacillus acidophilus BG2FO4 for 7 d failed to change breath-hydrogen excretion significantly after lactose ingestion.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus acidophilus SD-5212No Improvement in Lactose Malabsorption SymptomsNeutral

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