Dahis and Nights

March 4/Food & Farm Week -- According to recent research from Karnal, India, "The probiotic Dahi was prepared by co-culturing selected strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum and Dahi culture in buffalo milk, and it was evaluated for its cholesterol-lowering property. Rats were fed hypercholesterolaemic diet ad libitum along with supplements of buffalo milk, Dahi or probiotic Dahi for 110 days, and [their] plasma lipid profile [was] determined monthly."

"The plasma cholesterol increased by only 39% on probiotic Dahi, compared to 68% on buffalo milk and 62% on Dahi. The rise in plasma cholesterol on probiotic Dahi was due entirely to rise in HDL-cholesterol, while in buffalo milk and Dahi groups, VLDL + LDL- cholesterol contributed 53% and 71%, respectively, to rise in plasma cholesterol concentration. The magnitude of rise in plasma triacylglycerols (TAG) on probiotic Dahi was only 48%, compared to 313% on buffalo milk and 202% on Dahi. Atherogenic index decreased by 65% on probiotic Dahi as compared to 27-30% decline observed in Dahi and buffalo milk groups. The cholesterol and TAG contents in liver were lower in probiotic Dahi group than in buffalo milk or Dahi groups," wrote S. Rajpal and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Hence, the probiotic Dahi decreased diet induced hypercholesterolaemia and reduced atherogenic index by increasing HDL and attenuating the rise in TAG on hypercholesterolaemic diet."

Rajpal and colleagues published their study in Milchwissenschaft - Milk Science International ("Probiotic Dahi containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum attenuates diet induced hypercholesterolemia in rats." Milchwissenschaft - Milk Science International, 2009;64(1):21-25).

For additional information, contact S. Rajpal, National Dairy Research Institute, Division Animal Biochemistry, Karnal 132001, Haryana, India.

From the March 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition