May 19/Bari, Italy/Journal of Applied Microbiology-- The association of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei LMGP22043 with a food carrier rich in fiber, such as artichokes, can represent a new strategy for favoring a daily supply of probiotics and attracting more consumers to vegetable foods fortified with probiotic strains (J Appl Microbiol. March 29). Italian researchers sought to evaluate the positive influence of the probiotic strain L. paracasei LMGP22043 carried by artichokes into the human gut with special reference to fecal bacterial balance, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations and enzyme activities in a randomized, double blind human trial in comparison with probiotic-free artichokes (control).

Some 20 subjects were randomized into two groups, which consumed 180g/d of the artichoke product (probiotic or control) during two 15-day study periods (periods 1 and 2) separated by a 15-day washout in a crossover manner. Fecal samples were subjected to microbiological and biochemical analyses, and a strain-specific PCR was performed to monitor the probiotic strain. The probiotic strain, transported by the vegetable matrix, transiently colonized the gut of 17/20 subjects, antagonized Escherichia coli and Clostridium spp. and increased the genetic diversity of lactic population based on REP-PCR profiles, mainly after period 1. The probiotic L. paracasei LMGP22043 successfully colonized the human gut and positively influenced fecal bacteria and biochemical parameters.


From the May 19, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.