Suppressive effect of functional drinking yogurt containing specific egg yolk immunoglobulin on Helicobacter pylori in humans

J Dairy Sci. 2004 Dec;87(12):4073-9. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(04)73549-3.


Helicobacter pylori is a human pathogen that infects over 50% of the population worldwide. It is the most important etiologic agent of gastroduodenal ulcers and malignancies. Helicobacter pylori urease enzyme is considered the main factor for the organism's colonization in the gastroduodenal mucosa. Hens immunized with the purified urease produce a highly specific anti-H. pylori urease immunoglobulin (IgY-urease) in their egg yolks. Immunoglobulin Y-urease was stable at 60 to 65 degrees C for 30 min and at pH 4.0 for 7 h. Its activity was lost at 80 degrees C for 20 min and at pH 2 for 4 h. Specially designed functional drinking yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp. with 1% egg yolk IgY-urease was produced commercially. Immunoglobulin Y-urease activity showed stability in the product up to 7 d, and then decreased to 85% after 3 wk of storage. A clinical study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of IgY-urease yogurt to suppress infection in humans. Forty-two volunteers who tested positive for H. pylori using a 13C-urea breath test were recruited. A total of 450 mL of IgY-urease (test group) or IgY-urease-free yogurt (control group) was consumed in 150-mL portions 3 times daily for 4 wk. Volunteers were tested after 2 and 4 wk; urea breath test values significantly decreased in the test group compared with the control group. The results indicate that suppression of H. pylori infection in humans could be achieved by consumption of drinking yogurt fortified with IgY-urease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Breath Tests
  • Chickens
  • Egg Yolk / immunology
  • Female
  • Food, Organic
  • Helicobacter Infections / diet therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Immunoglobulins / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Temperature
  • Urease / administration & dosage
  • Urease / immunology*
  • Yogurt*


  • IgY
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Urease