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      Yogurt and gut function.

      The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

      Adult, Animals, Child, Female, Fermentation, Gastrointestinal Diseases, metabolism, therapy, Gastrointestinal Tract, drug effects, immunology, Humans, Lactic Acid, Yogurt, Male, Nutritive Value

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          Abstract

          In recent years, numerous studies have been published on the health effects of yogurt and the bacterial cultures used in the production of yogurt. In the United States, these lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) include Lactobacillus and Streptococcus species. The benefits of yogurt and LAB on gastrointestinal health have been investigated in animal models and, occasionally, in human subjects. Some studies using yogurt, individual LAB species, or both showed promising health benefits for certain gastrointestinal conditions, including lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrheal diseases, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, and allergies. Patients with any of these conditions could possibly benefit from the consumption of yogurt. The benefits of yogurt consumption to gastrointestinal function are most likely due to effects mediated through the gut microflora, bowel transit, and enhancement of gastrointestinal innate and adaptive immune responses. Although substantial evidence currently exists to support a beneficial effect of yogurt consumption on gastrointestinal health, there is inconsistency in reported results, which may be due to differences in the strains of LAB used, in routes of administration, or in investigational procedures or to the lack of objective definition of "gut health." Further well-designed, controlled human studies of adequate duration are needed to confirm or extend these findings.

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          Most cited references 95

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          A primitive T cell-independent mechanism of intestinal mucosal IgA responses to commensal bacteria.

          The immunoglobulin A (IgA) is produced to defend mucosal surfaces from environmental organisms, but host defenses against the very heavy load of intestinal commensal microorganisms are poorly understood. The IgA against intestinal commensal bacterial antigens was analyzed; it was not simply "natural antibody" but was specifically induced and responded to antigenic changes within an established gut flora. In contrast to IgA responses against exotoxins, a significant proportion of this specific anti-commensal IgA induction was through a pathway that was independent of T cell help and of follicular lymphoid tissue organization, which may reflect an evolutionarily primitive form of specific immune defense.
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            Lactobacillus acidophilus LA 1 binds to cultured human intestinal cell lines and inhibits cell attachment and cell invasion by enterovirulent bacteria.

            Four human Lactobacillus acidophilus strains were tested for their ability to adhere onto human enterocyte like Caco-2 cells in culture. The LA 1 strain exhibited a high calcium independent adhesive property. This adhesion onto Caco-2 cells required a proteinaceous adhesion promoting factor, which was present in the spent bacterial broth culture supernatant. LA 1 strain also strongly bound to the mucus secreted by the homogeneous cultured human goblet cell line HT29-MTX. The inhibitory effect of LA 1 organisms against Caco-2 cell adhesion and cell invasion by a large variety of diarrhoeagenic bacteria was investigated. As a result, the following dose dependent inhibitions were obtained: (a) against the cell association of enterotoxigenic, diffusely adhering and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium; (b) against the cell invasion by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Salmonella typhimurium. Incubations of L acidophilus LA 1 before and together with enterovirulent E coli were more effective than incubation after infection by E coli.
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              Enhancement of the circulating antibody secreting cell response in human diarrhea by a human Lactobacillus strain.

              Human Lactobacillus sp strain GG (Lactobacillus GG) administered during acute rotavirus diarrhea has been shown to promote clinical recovery. To elucidate the immune mechanisms behind such a favorable outcome, the ELISPOT (solid phase enzyme-linked immunospot) assay of Ig- and specific antibody-secreting cells among circulating lymphocytes was used, giving indirect evidence of the immunologic events in the gut. After rehydration, 39 children with acute rotavirus diarrhea, mean age 16 (SD 6) mo, randomly received either a Lactobacillus GG fermented milk product (study group) or a pasteurized yogurt (placebo group). The duration of diarrhea was significantly shorter in the study group than in the placebo group [mean 1.1 (SD 0.6) versus 2.5 (SD 1.4)d, p = 0.001]. Lactobacillus GG therapy was associated with a significantly enhanced nonspecific humoral response during the acute phase of the infection, reflected in the IgG, IgA, and IgM Ig-secreting cell numbers. At convalescence, 90% of the study group versus 46% of the placebo group had developed an IgA specific antibody-secreting cell response to rotavirus (p = 0.006). The results indicate that Lactobacillus GG promotes recovery from rotavirus diarrhea via augmentation of the local immune defense. Furthermore, specific IgA response to rotavirus is endorsed, which is possibly relevant in protection against reinfections.
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