Carbohydrate metabolism in lactic acid bacteria

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1983 Sep;49(3):209-24. doi: 10.1007/BF00399499.


The term "lactic acid bacteria" is discussed. An overview of the following topics is given: main pathways of homo- and heterofermentation of hexoses, i.e. glycolysis, bifidus pathway, 6-phosphogluconate pathway; uptake and dissimilation of lactose (tagatose pathway); fermentation of pentoses and pentitols; alternative fates of pyruvate, i.e. splitting to formate and acetate, CO2 and acetate or formation of acetoin and diacetyl; lactate oxidation; biochemical basis for the formation of different stereoisomers of lactate.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinomycetaceae / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Hexoses / metabolism
  • Isomerism
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pentoses / metabolism
  • Pyruvates / metabolism
  • Pyruvic Acid
  • Streptococcaceae / metabolism*


  • Hexoses
  • Lactates
  • Pentoses
  • Pyruvates
  • Pyruvic Acid
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase