We conducted a preliminary open trial (trial 1) and a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial (trial 2) to examine how fermented milk containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 affects gastric and lower abdominal symptoms in adults taking no medication. In trial 1, subjects with or without gastric and lower abdominal symptoms ingested fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 daily for 2 wk. In trial 2, subjects with gastric symptoms ingested fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 (active preparation) or placebo daily for 2 wk, followed by crossover for 3 wk after a washout period. Before (baseline) and 1 and 2 wk after ingestion, subjects completed a questionnaire. In trial 1 (305 subjects), the prevalence of gastric and lower abdominal symptoms was 46 and 58%, respectively, at baseline. Ingestion of B. bifidum YIT 10347 significantly decreased the prevalence of gastric and lower abdominal symptoms from 45 to 33% at 1 wk and to 28% at 2 wk, and from 57 to 40% at 2 wk, respectively. In subjects with gastric symptoms at baseline, the average gastric symptom score per subject significantly decreased by 0.9 at 1 wk and 1.2 at 2 wk. In trial 2 (27 subjects), ingestion of the active preparation significantly decreased the average gastric symptoms score per subject by 1.0 at 1 wk and 1.1 at 2 wk, but ingestion of placebo milk had no effect. No side effects were reported by any subjects in either trial. We conclude that fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 has the potential to provide health benefits by alleviating gastric symptoms in subjects taking no medication.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium bifidum; fermented milk; gastric symptoms; questionnaire.
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