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Abstract

Lactobacillus helveticus carries many properties such as the ability to survive gastrointestinal transit, modulate the host immune response, accumulate biopeptides in milk, and adhere to the epithelial cells that could contribute to improving host health. In this study, the applicability as functional cultures of four L. helveticus strains isolated from Italian hard cheeses was investigated. A preliminary strain characterization showed that the ability to produce folate was generally low while antioxidant, proteolytic, peptidase, and β-galactosidase activities resulted high, although very variable, between strains. When stimulated moDCs were incubated in the presence of live cells, a dose-dependent release of both the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12p70 and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, was shown for all the four strains. In the presence of cell-free culture supernatants (postbiotics), a dose-dependent, decrease of IL-12p70 and an increase of IL-10 was generally observed. The immunomodulatory effect took place also in Caciotta-like cheese made with strains SIM12 and SIS16 as bifunctional (i.e., immunomodulant and acidifying) starter cultures, thus confirming tests in culture media. Given that the growth of bacteria in the cheese was not necessary (they were killed by pasteurization), the results indicated that some constituents of non-viable bacteria had immunomodulatory properties. This study adds additional evidence for the positive role of L. helveticus on human health and suggests cheese as a suitable food for delivering candidate strains and modulating their anti-inflammatory properties.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus helveticusModulated Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticusReduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus L10Modulated Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus L10Reduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus LH76Increased IL-10 LevelsBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus helveticus LH76Reduced IL-12p70 ReleaseBeneficial
Large
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 MEEnhanced Anti-inflammatory PropertiesBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 MEIncreased Anti-Inflammatory Cytokine LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 MEIncreased Pro-inflammatory Cytokine ReleaseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 MEReduced Pro-inflammatory Cytokine ReleaseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52NDModulated Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52NDReduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus VPro 13Adherence to Epithelial CellsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus VPro 13Gastrointestinal SurvivalBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus helveticus VPro 13Modulated Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate

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