2002 Volume 21 Issue 2 Pages 115-120
The effect of the ingested culture of Propionibacterium freudenreichii ET-3 that produced bifidogenic growth stimulator (BGS) on stool frequency and quantity was investigated in 41 young healthy women in a randomized double-blind crossover study. The fecal samples of 7 of these 41 subjects were analyzed to study the modification of intestinal microflora by BGS. The results were compared with the effects of an ingested placebo tablet. The ratio of bifidobacteria population (%) to total bacteria population during the BGS-tablet intake period was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in comparison with that during the placebo tablet intake period. There were no significant differences in fecal pH and water contentduring the experimental periods. However, the putrefactive metabolites, namely, fecal indole and skatole concentration, of the BGS-tablet intake period significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in comparison with those of the placebo tablet period. The stool quantity of the BGS-tablet intake period was slightly higher (p = 0.083) than that of the nonintake period. Moreover, the stool frequency of the BGS-tablet intake period chosen from those originally with lower frequency (≤ 4 times/week) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the placebo tablet intake period. These results show that the ingestion of P. freudenreichii ET-3 culture increases the number of defecations of constipated females, indicating an improvement of intestinal microflora.