The Probiotic Content of Commercial Yogurts in West Virginia

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Probiotics are live microorganisms that can confer health benefits. Current recommendations for probiotic dosing in pediatrics for acute gastroenteritis range from 109 to 1011 colony forming units (CFUs)/day. In the present study, commercial yogurts were investigated for probiotic content and concentration. A total of 10 yogurts and 1 probiotic supplement were tested. Culture and enumeration were performed on Lactobacillus specific agar, and presence of gram positive rods were confirmed with gram staining. Various PCR techniques were also used to identify different Lactobacillus species. Good colony growth was noted on all cultures, with enumeration results ranging from 4.8 x 109 to 9.5 x 1010 CFU in a single 100mL serving. A wide variety of bacterial species was noted, including unidentified bacteria. All yogurt samples had enough probiotic content to meet current recommendations for treatment of acute gastroenteritis. Physicians should use yogurts with caution in this setting until full bacterial repertoires are available for commercial yogurts.


Published in Clinical Pediatrics, doi: 10.1177/0009922809331802

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