a1 Department of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
a2 Department of Microbiology, Medical Faculty, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
The increasing interest in a healthy diet is stimulating innovative development of novel scientific products in the food industry. The viable lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk products, such as yoghurt, have been associated with increased lactose tolerance, a well-balanced intestinal microflora, antimicrobial activity, stimulation of the immune system and antitumoural, anticholesterolaemic and antioxidative properties in human subjects. Recently, we have studied a human Lactobacillus spp. strain that possesses antioxidative activity. The aim of the present pilot study was to develop goats' milk fermented with the human antioxidative lactobacilli strain, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, and to test the effect of the fermented probiotic goats' milk on oxidative stress markers (including markers for atherosclerosis) in human blood and urine and on the gut microflora. Twenty-one healthy subjects were assigned to two treatment groups: goats' milk group and fermented goats' milk group (150 g/d) for a period of 21 d. Consumption of fermented goats' milk improved anti-atherogenicity in healthy subjects: it prolonged resistance of the lipoprotein fraction to oxidation, lowered levels of peroxidized lipoproteins, oxidized LDL, 8-isoprostanes and glutathione redox ratio, and enhanced total antioxidative activity. The consumption of fermented goats' milk also altered both the prevalence and proportion of lactic acid bacteria species in the gut microflora of the subjects. We conclude that the goats' milk fermented with our special antioxidative lactobacilli strain Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 exhibits anti-atherogenic effects.
(Received May 23 2002)
(Revised February 11 2003)
(Accepted March 24 2003)