Consumption of a probiotic yoghurt may offer higher immune-protection than a probiotic whey beverage, according to the findings of new research in rats.
The study, published in Food Research International, used exhaustive exercise in rats as a model for immune-suppression, to assess whether there were differences in the way a probiotic yoghurt and a probiotic whey drink modulated the immune system.
Led by Pablo Christiano Lollo from the University of Campinas, Brazil, the research team said that the results from their study agree with the literature which indicates the capacity of probiotics to improve the immune system.
"The combination of nutrients and probiotic bacteria of yogurt was the set that best performed this role, appearing to be more efficient in attenuating the immune depression caused by exhaustive exercise than the whey probiotic beverage," said the authors.
"The probiotic yogurt outperformed the probiotic whey beverage in blood-cell indicators (neutrophils and lymphocytes), cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) and various standard health parameters," the team revealed. "The combination of the nutrients and probiotic bacteria of the yogurt reduces more effectively the adverse effects developed over the prolonged strenuous exercise than did a similar probiotic whey beverage."
Lollo and his colleagues evaluated the multistrain probiotic yogurt and a probiotic whey beverage using an exhausting physical-exercise protocol with Wistar rats. The rats were given a daily 4-mL supplement of each type of conventional or probiotic yogurt and whey beverage, manufactured with lactic culture Streptococcus thermophilus TA040 and Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB340, and probiotic cultureLactobacillus acidophilus LA 14 and Bifidobacterium longum BL 05.
The effects on the immune system were compared to those of control cohorts for 14 days.
"In rats fed probiotic yogurt, the neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio was 2.6-fold higher (P < 0.001) after exhaustive exercise, whereas in rats fed common yogurt, this ratio was 3.2-fold higher (P < 0.001), indicating that the inflammatory state typically occurring after lasting and exhaustive exercise may be lowered by the consumption of probiotics," wrote the research team.
The whey beverage and probiotic whey beverage increased 3.4 and 3.6-fold - neither of which were statistically different from the control (3.3-fold).
Lollo and his team also revealed that the exercise protocol led to modest increases in the TNF-α concentrations in all rats, however the increases were significantly smaller in animals supplemented with probiotic yogurt.
"It can be seen that exercise did not clearly affect the IL-1β levels, but the consumption of yogurt and probiotic yogurt was capable of significantly reducing the levels of this interleukin both in the exhausted and sedentary animals," the team explained.
Source: Food Research International
Volume 54, Issue 1, November 2013, Pages 118–124, doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2013.06.003
"Probiotic yogurt offers higher immune-protection than probiotic whey beverage"
Authors: Pablo Christiano B. Lollo, Carolina Soares de Moura, Priscila Neder Morato, et al