Researchers in Brazil have published new study results suggesting a probiotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophlius and Bifidobacterium lactis may significantly increase the bifidobacteria content in the feces of patients with celiac disease, who are often deficient in this beneficial bacterium. Healthy individuals taking the yogurt—Piá Essence from Brazilian firm Piá (Nova Petrópolis, Brazil)—also experienced a significant increase in bifidobacteria content.
The study included 17 healthy subjects and 14 celiac patients aged 18–60 who consumed 100 g of the yogurt daily for 30 days. Each 100-g yogurt package advertised a probiotic content of Lactobacillus acidophlius and Bifidobacterium lactis, and researchers found an average bifidobacteria concentration of 6.67×108CFU/g per yogurt in the samples provided to study participants. Researchers used Gram’s method for the microscopic analysis of fecal bacteria colonies, as well as determination of the fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase enzyme to identify Bifidobacterium genus. They also measured fecal pH through a calibrated pHmeter.
Before probiotic consumption, researchers found that healthy individuals had significantly higher fecal bifidobacteria concentrations compared to celiac subjects, with no significant difference found for fecal pH values. After the 30-day period of probiotic consumption, however, both the healthy subjects and the celiac group showed a significant increase in bifidobacteria concentrations in the feces. (Healthy subjects, however, still presented significantly higher concentrations than the celiac group, even after the supplementation period.) The pH values from both groups were not significantly different after 30 days of probiotic intake.
“The probiotic supplementation significantly increased the number of bifidobacteria in the feces of celiac patients, although it was not sufficient to reach the concentration found in healthy individuals prior to its consumption,” researchers concluded.