Objective: It was determined whether a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) 74-2 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis DGCC 420 (B. lactis 420) affect the faecal microbiota as well as immunological parameters and blood lipids in healthy adults.
Design: A placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized crossover trial was conducted.
Subjects: Twenty-six healthy volunteers (mean age 25 years) were recruited by advertising in academical buildings. All of them completed the study.
Methods: After 3-week run-in period, half of the volunteers consumed 300 g/day of yoghurt supplement containing probiotic strains L. acidophilus 74-2 and B. lactis 420, and the other half received the placebo product for a period of 5 weeks. The two groups were crossed during the following 5-week period. Blood and faecal samples were collected at the end of each period. The faecal content of probiotic bacteria, faecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), serum lipids and plasma immune system biomarkers were evaluated.
Results: Faecal proportions of L. acidophilus and of B. lactis increased significantly from 0.02 to 0.19 and 0.4 to 1.4% (P<0.05), respectively. Percentages of granulocytes and monocytes showing phagocytic activity were significantly elevated from 92 to 95% during probiotic intervention, whereas their oxidative burst activity and specific immune parameters remained unaffected. Fecal SCFA and serum cholesterol levels were not influenced by the probiotics. However, serum concentrations of triacylglyceroles decreased significantly by 11.6% (P<0.05) in the probiotic supplementation period.
Conclusions: L. acidophilus and B. lactis were recovered in faeces in significantly elevated numbers after supplementation. They are able to modulate unspecific cellular immune response indicated by the increased phagocytic activity.