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Molecular analysis of yogurt containing Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus in human intestinal microbiota.

  • 2008-01
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 87(1)
    • Raimundo García-Albiach
    • María José Pozuelo de Felipe
    • Santiago Angulo
    • M. Morosini
    • D. Bravo
    • F. Baquero
    • R. del Campo


Background: Yogurt has traditionally been considered a probiotic-carrier food with health-promoting effects. Despite the universal assumption of this assertion, several researchers have evaluated the real capability of the yogurt bacteria Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus to survive and proliferate in the human intestine and have found contradictory results.

Objective: This double-blind crossover study assessed the qualitative and quantitative effects of fresh and heat-treated yogurt on bacterial intestinal microbiota from healthy subjects.

Design: The subjects were divided into experimental (n=63) and control (n=16) groups. The experimental group consumed fresh and heat-treated yogurt for 15 d according to a crossover design with a washout period of 2 wk. Three different fecal samples per individual were recovered: at baseline, after fresh yogurt intake, and after heat-treated yogurt intake. Qualitative changes in microbiota were studied by denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) with universal and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) 16S-rRNA primers. Quantitative changes in LAB, Clostridium coccoides, Clostridium perfringens, and Bacteroides groups were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: A particular DGGE stable band pattern was observed in each sample. No significant qualitative differences were detected in any fecal sample. However, a significantly higher density of LAB and C. perfringens and a significant decrease in the density of Bacteroides was observed after consumption of both types of yogurt. Microbiota density was not significantly different between the fresh and heat-treated yogurt groups, except for LAB, which was significantly greater in the fresh yogurt group.

Conclusion: The main change in human microbiota observed after yogurt consumption was an increase in the density of LAB and C. perfringens to the detriment of Bacteroides. Bacterial changes were not different after the consumption of fresh and heat-treated yogurt.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus bulgaricusIncreased Clostridium perfringens DensityHarmful
Lactobacillus bulgaricusIncreased Lactobacillus Acidophilus LevelsNeutral
Lactobacillus bulgaricusReduced Bacteroides ExpressionNeutral
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