St. Petersburg, Russia—Diet changes the microbiome with respect to the baseline microbial community structure, suggests a new study by Volokh et al. and published in Nutrients.
The study, titled “Human Gut Microbiome Response Induced by Fermented Dairy Product Intake in Health Volunteers,” included 150 subjects who consumed 125ml of yogurt fortified with Bifidobacterium animalis, subspecies lactis BB-12, every morning and every evening for 30 days. The microbial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced before and after the 30-day period.
The results were an increase in Bifidobacterium—and not just B. animalis, as might have been expected, given it was in the yogurt. B. bifidum, B. longum, and B. adolescentis also showed significant increases. The takeaway from that, according to the study? “Fermented dairy product consumption not only leads to increased presence of B. animalis due to its direct introduction, but also potentially affects the ecology of the gut microbiome by supporting its resident bifidobacterial species.”
There was also an increase in Actinobacteria, which the study suggested was due to the increased levels of lactose in the diet provided by the test product. This genus has an ability to metabolize lactose to lactate.
Researchers suggested in the study that the procedure should be repeated with a control group given the same product minus the probiotic fortification, to disentangle the effects of the yogurt from the probiotic. They also suggested studies to test the staying power of these changes.
The full study can be found here.