Ingestion of fermented dairy products induces changes in the equilibrium and metabolism of the intestinal microflora and may thus exert a healthful influence on the host. We compared the effects of consumption of a traditional yogurt, a milk fermented with yogurt cultures and Lactobacillus casei (YC), and a nonfermented gelled milk on the fecal microflora of healthy infants. Thirty-nine infants aged 10-18 mo were randomly assigned to one of three groups in which they received 125 g/d of one of the three products for 1 mo. The following indexes were not modified during the supplementation period or for 1 wk after the end of supplementation: total number of anaerobes, bifidobacteria, bacteroides, and enterobacteria; pH; water content; concentrations of acetate, butyrate, propionate, and lactate; and bacterial enzyme activity of beta-galactosidase and alpha-glucosidase. In contrast, in the yogurt group the number of enterococci in fecal samples increased (P < 0.05), whereas the percentage of branched-chain and long-chain fatty acids, which are markers of proteolytic fermentation, decreased (P < 0.05). In the YC group, the percentage of children with > 6 log10 colony-forming units lactobacilli/g feces increased (P < 0.05), whereas the potentially harmful enzyme activity of beta-glucuronidase and beta-glucosidase decreased (P < 0.05). These decreases were particularly marked in those infants in the YC group in whom activity of the enzymes was initially unusually high.